WARWICK, RI – Warwick School officials are upbeat about the latest round of English & Math RICAS scores that buck a downward national trend for 2021-2022.
During a presentation to the School Committee during the Jan. 10 School Committee meeting, Lisa Schultz, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment, and RTI, spoke about RICAS scores, released by the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE).
“The testing results in 2021 and 2022 across the country showed a decline in proficiency, mainly due to the effects of COVID-19,” said Schultz. She referenced recent reports, including in USA Today in October, that reading and math test scores fell across the country in 2022 as the pandemic continued.
“Warwick, however, made several moves in a positive direction this year on the state testing as compared to last year’s results,” Schultz continued. “We are very pleased with our growth overall and have several schools that have been commended for their growth.”
Those schools include:
- Scott Elementary School RICAS scores went up more than 10 percent proficiency in ELA this year and is now a four-star school. The score went from 44 to 57 percent on or above grade level from the 2020-2021 school year to 2021-2022.
- Cedar Hill Elementary jumped 16 percent proficiency this year in RICAS Math – 27.2 to 43.3 percent.
- Robertson Elementary jumped 19 percent in RICAS Math this year – 14 percent to 33.6 percent proficient.
- Scott Elementary went up 16 percent in RICAS Math this year – 26.2 to 42.5 percent
- Holliman Elementary went up 5 percent in RICAS Math this year – 18.5 to 23.3 percent
- Norwood Elementary RICAS scores went up 8 percent in Math this year – 10.4 to 18 percent
- Park Elementary went up 24 percent in RICAS Math this year – 20.2 to 44 percent
- Sherman Elementary went up 8 percent in RICAS Math this year – 21.1 to 29.2 percent
- Warwick Neck Elementary went up 6 percent in RICAS Math this year – 21.7 to 27 percent
- ET Wyman Elementary went up 8 percent in RICAS Math this year – 15.5 to 23.3 percent
- Warwick Veteran’s Middle School went up 9 percent in RICAS math this year – 10.3 to 19.2 percent
- Pilgrim High School went up 10 percent in SAT ELA this year – 48 to 57.7 percent
For the 2020-2021 school year, in the category of English Language Arts 9ELA for grades 3 – 8, 17.3 percent of the students were marked as not meeting expectations, 52.6 percent of students partially met expectations, and 28.4 percent met expectations. 1.8 percent exceeded expectations.
For the 2021-2022 school year, for ELA Grades 3 – 8, 21.1 percent did not meet expectations, 50 percent partially met expectations, and 27 percent met expectations. 1.9 percent exceeded expectations. A total of 3,625 students were tested.
“There was a slight decline overall in scores, but the number of test takers was much smaller in 2020-21, which makes between-year comparisons very difficult,” Schultz noted.
- The overall grades for mathematics for Grades 3 through 8 for the 2020-2021 school year: 30.7 percent not meeting expectations, 54.8 percent partially meeting expectations, and 13.9 percent meeting expectations. 0.6 percent exceeded expectations.
- The overall grades for mathematics for Grades 3 through 8 for the 2021-2022 school year: 21.6 percent not meeting expectations, 55.9 percent partially meeting expectations, and 20.9 percent meeting expectations. 1.7 percent exceeded expectations. 3632 students were tested.
“There was a large increase in growth in this area, over 8 percent across the district,” Schultz explained. “Typically, mathematics is an area that is more difficult to move than ELA. We did very well with our math growth over the past year as a district.”
“Our SAT scores at the high schools slightly increased for ELA: 49.6 percent of students met or exceeded expectations in 2021-2022, compared to 48.5 percent for 2020-2021.”
“And our SAT scores stayed the same for Mathematics: 20.7 percent met or exceeded expectations for 2021-2022 compared to 21 percent meeting or exceeding expectations for 2020-2021.”
Schultz said the district has several initiatives in the works in order to facilitate a greater increase in the scores. These initiatives include:
- All new curricular materials for mathematics and ELA, K-12
- New curricular materials for our pre-K program
- More math interventionists at the elementary level
- In-school coaching at the elementary level for ELA and Mathematics
- A district-wide initiative of “student discourse” in order to help students speak to/learn from one another in a productive way
- After school academies at the elementary level
- Curriculum revision cycles, K-12
- A focus on learning walks at the secondary level
- Deep dive into data with principals and leadership teams
“We have many positive things happening in Warwick, with over half of our elementary schools on the cusp of becoming four-star schools,” Schultz added. “Most elementary schools across the state are rated as three-star schools, so having several contenders to become four-star schools is quite an accomplishment.”
The committee approved an anti harrassment policy.
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