All school districts in the State of Nebraska anxiously awaited the results of the Nebraska State Assessment test, which were released by the Nebraska Department of Education on November 8. These tests determine which schools met AYP (adequate yearly progress) and which schools were on the PLAS list (Persistently Lowest Achieving Schools). For Hay Springs Public Schools it was another year of excellent news.
All schools at Hay Springs (elementary, middle level, and high school) met AYP. Not only did they meet AYP but we were one of the highest achieving schools in the area on this assessment test. We outscored neighboring districts at most grade levels in both Reading and Math.
The State of Nebraska also released the schools on the PLAS List (Persistently Lowest Achieving Schools). The PLAS list categorizes the lowest performing schools into three categories: Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3. Again, Hay Springs Public Schools is not on the PLAS list.
Two years ago Hay Springs did not make AYP at the Middle Level and High School and was on the PLAS List at the Middle Level and High School. We took the low ranking very seriously and addressed our academic challenges head on. The staff addressed attendance, created mandatory remedial programs, scheduled summer school for students failing classes, focused on curricular needs, improved instruction, and encouraged students to be responsible for their own learning. We are pleased that our efforts have been successful.
Take time to celebrate our success, show your appreciation to a teacher, support personnel, and school board members. Acknowledge a student’s effort and hard work, and recognize we have many outstanding parents that support education, expecting their child to learn and be successful.
This month Mrs. Matthews has suggested a book to read for each level. For the upper level she picked Zlata’s Diary by Zlata Filpovic. It’s about a girl who was in Sarajevo during the war. For middle level she suggested Middle School the Worst Years of my Life by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts. This book is about a boy who decides to break all the rules in his middle school, but there are consequences in the end. For the lower level she suggested The Magic Tree House books by Mary Pope Osborne. The books are about a boy and girl named Jack and Ann who have a magic tree house and they travel back in time. They went back to the dinosaur period, ancient Egypt, the Wild West and even the North Pole.
Mrs. Matthews said, “Everyone should read every day for twenty minutes.”
Shhh… There have been a few questions concerning the Accelerated Reader Program. Mrs. Matthews was kind enough to answer them.
This program is available to monitor and assess a student’s reading abilities. The purpose of the program is to determine whether a student has read and comprehended a given book. Reading is a very valuable skill for all people to have. The more people read the better their comprehension and reading skills become. There are three different levels of books at which to read: UG (grades nine – twelve), MG (grades four -eight), and LG (K-three). The website ARbookfind.com is helpful in determining the level of a book. The website will also tell the InterestLevel, Reading Level, and number of points for each book. There is also additional information about a book on the website. Using the websites Accelerated Reader Online or ARbookfind.com,readers are able to find out if the book that they want to read has a test. With a test a reader can find how well they have comprehended a book.
There are 15,000 books for the UG level, 50,000 for the MG level, and 55,000 for the LG level. For any further questions please contact Mrs. Matthews.