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School Board Learns of Third Grade Reading Improvements

By Staff | Dec 28, 2010

Progress of the third grade class was the first item to be discussed by members of the Emmetsburg Community Schools Board of Education during their regular meeting on Monday, Dec. 20.

“We’re watching third grade in particular because we knew it was going to be a large class,” said Superintendent John Joynt. “We’ve had several meetings on the topic.”

Parents and teachers of the third grade class at Emmetsburg West Elementary brought their concerns over class size to the Board of Education during their Sept. 20 meeting. The third grade enrollment is 57 students with 28 to 29 students per classroom.

Joynt presented the results from recent BRI (Basic Reading Inventory) testing of the third grade class conducted at midyear, in December.

“During the test, each student has an individual reading session with a teacher and it’s scored,” Joynt shared. “We do really well on the test. It is recommended that this is the test we use. The midyear test for third grade showed that 95-percent of the third graders scored at grade level in comprehension. Generally, by the end of the year almost everyone-or 100-percent–is at grade level.”

When the third grade students were tested at the start of the school year in August, 88-percent were at grade level.

“Although it’s a good score, don’t get too excited. We always score really well on this test,” Joynt noted.

“Well, it definitely shows that we’re going in the right direction with what we’ve decided to try. It’s not a disaster at least,” said Don Hagen, board member.

Joynt agreed, “Their reading scores and attendance are better than last year’s. It’s working, and that’s what we wanted to review. We want to keep watching them.”

“Do you think things have settled down and they’ve got into kind of a routine?” asked Board President Karla Anderson.

“Yes,” Joynt answered. “Everyone is in there, and we’ll have the newly hired teacher start in the second semester.”

Tammy Naig, board member, added, “I talked to a few of the parents and they said things were going pretty good. I talked to Mrs. Stafford [third grade teacher] the other day and she said things were going well.”

In other business, the board approved John Kennedy for the middle school boys track coach position and Erica Siefken for the elementary/middle school special education teaching position.

The board members also approved the early graduation of Kory Hagen, a member of the senior class.