PORT ORFORD — The Oregon Department of Education released statewide assessment data recently that showed that students in the Port Orford-Langlois School District have passed the Smarter Balanced assessment at a higher rate than their peers throughout the state in mathematics and are on par with their peers in English Language Arts.
“I am really proud of the efforts of our teachers, staff, students, and families in taking these tests seriously,” said Krista Nieraeth, principal of both Driftwood Elementary School and Pacific High School. “While we know that these tests are just a snapshot of what are students know that particular time, it’s nice to see the results we got.”
The biggest gains for the district were in the mathematics tests. Forty-five percent of Driftwood students in grades third-eighth who took the SBAC test showed proficiency, compared to only 39 percent of students in the same grades. At Pacific, 64 percent of the juniors passed the SBAC test, compared to only 32 percent of their peers throughout the state.
“We purchased a new mathematics curriculum last year for grades K-5 and really focused on increasing the rigor of our mathematics teaching in all grades through professional development opportunities that happened on our early release Fridays,” said Nieraeth. “As a K-12 staff, we focused on the data we were getting from our students through interim assessments and worked on refining our teaching practices in the classroom based on that data. ”
“The staff really bought into the new curriculum we adopted and have worked together to implement the curriculum with fidelity in all grades. I think that the scores really reflect that hard work.”
For the ELA SBAC test, over 95 percent of the Pacific juniors showed proficiency, compared to only 67 percent of their peers throughout the state.
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“Mr. Perkins (superintendent of POLSD) and I are very happy with the results we saw for our ELA and math testing at Pacific,” said Nieraeth. “Our staff and the juniors really worked hard all year long and their efforts showed in the results.”
At Driftwood, 47 percent of the students showed proficiency in ELA, compared to 53 percent of their peers throughout the state.
“Again,” Nieraeth said, “these tests are just a snapshot in time. Our goal will always be to help our students continually grow their skills. The SBAC results are just one data point that we will use to help continue to improve our instructional strategies in our classrooms.”
“One of the major things that I appreciate about our district and community is the fact that it’s not just the math and English teachers that work with our students on these assessments," said Nieraeth. It’s all of our staff, in and out of the classroom, as well as the support from our community partners that help our students receive a well – rounded, hands – on education.”
“We are proud of the education that our school district and community are able to provide our students.”