By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN
BG Independent News
This report card may make the front of the refrigerator
Dr. Ann McCarty, executive director of teaching and learning for Bowling Green City Schools, reported to the board of education Tuesday evening that the state had released preliminary reports cards for school districts.
Though far from complete, the grades showed a far more favorable report for Bowling Green schools.
Some of the grades may still appear dismal to those outside education – nothing to brag about. But to educators, who know what the numbers mean, they showed great improvement, McCarty said.
For example, in the area of “gap closing” between special education and other students, the district improved from an “F” to a “D.”
“That’s huge in terms of statistics,” McCarty said. “Our teachers worked really hard on this.”
Other success stories were found in K-3 literacy, which went from an “F” to a “C.”
“This is a huge upgrade for us,” she said.
The elementary schools saw significant gains. “Our teachers were doing things differently,” McCarty said.
In the area of social studies, fourth graders met the state benchmark. And in English, “almost every single grade saw growth. We’re seeing growth out of our students.”
In the area of math, sixth and seventh grade math showed solid gains, and high school algebra scores rose 15 percent. “That’s a huge gain,” McCarty said.
All the second language students in third grade passed, which is quite an achievement, she added.
The only drop seen was in science, and McCarty said that was most likely due to new technology.
McCarty credited the teachers for trying different techniques to try to raise the report card scores. For example, third graders at Kenwood Elementary had a 37 percent pass rate when tested in November. When tested again in the spring, those same students showed a 67 percent pass rate.
The teachers used collaboration and curriculum programs to make improvements. In some cases, they kept going back to the drawing board till they came up with strategies that worked.
And the work doesn’t stop when schools close for the summer. McCarty showed the numbers of staff who participated in training over the summer.
“This speaks to the dedication of our staff,” she said, pointing to the lists of summer trainings and the improved grade cards. “This right here is why we’re seeing things like that.”
The district expects report cards to improve more as the first class of all-day kindergarten students reach testing age. The kindergarten and first grade teachers saw great advancements in the students once the all-day classes began two years ago.
Board president Ellen Scholl complimented McCarty and other staff for the improvements in the preliminary grade cards. “Good job,” she said.
In other business at Tuesday’s meeting, the school board hired James Beaverson as the new high school baseball coach.
And Eric Rine was recognized for winning state boys track and field championships for seated shot put, seated 800, seated 400, and seated 100.