Cassville focuses on student assessments
Assessment program evaluates students as year progresses
The Cassville school district has decided for the coming school year to put more focus on subgroup programs for students, including more staff and restructured intervention services.
Traci Mitchell, Cassville co-director of learning, said the special education subgroup is one of the targets.
“We are looking at being able to provide them with more support,” she said. “We have hired more staff for the special education department, and for all students, we have made groups smaller.”
Mitchell said the schedule will look different in the intermediate building, like the way students are assessed according to their level of performance and needs.
“We break them into smaller groups, and because of that new structure, we will be able to provide more focused areas of skill level,” she said. “Last year, we purchased “I Ready,” which is a district-wide assessment program, and we tested our students three times through the year — at the beginning, middle and end of the school year.”
Mitchell said it broke down different students’ progress and skill levels.
“Now, we can specifically see where the students are low, and we are looking to fill those gaps and try to make sure all students are performing at the highest level we can get them,” she said. “In kindergarten through eighth grade, we are using that, and in the high school, we are using a couple of different programs, but the main one is USA Test Prep.”
Mitchell said the primary is working specifically on phonics.
“We are hitting that pretty hard,” she said. “We are hitting reading strategies and in the middle school we have added some intervention staff to help with reading and math skills as well.”
Mitchell said the district is looking to be above state average.
“We want to make sure that our students, when they graduate, are fully prepared to go into the workforce or college,” she said. “We want them to be the best they can be, and we want to be one of the top districts in the state.”
Mitchell said the district is focusing on subgroups but also trying to help all students.
“Helping each student across the board is our goal,” she said. “We are going to push the students above grade level and pull up students who are below.”
Mitchell said the district wants to get the big picture, and instead of focusing on only the struggling students, it is best to look at them collectively in order to catch every student.
“This is a focus on the entire campus,” she said. “We are starting elements of English in the high school, and we have staff members who have gone to specific training, and we have ordered specific curriculum.”
Mitchell said she is excited about the focus on primary and early grades.
“I think everyone is excited about what we have going on and what we are building in our students,” she said. “We are jumping right into this on the first day of school.”
Mitchell said one of the professional development days had been moved to the beginning of the school year in order to focus from day one on getting the staff ready to go.
“We are all very excited about the coming school year,” she said. “It is going to be a great one.”