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Assessments show WP students meeting state standards for most part PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Wednesday, 19 October 2011 19:47

By Tina Kitt

The Wauneta Breeze


In a preview of local assessment test scores ahead of the statewide release of the State of the School Reports expected next week, Wauneta-Palisade educator Jill Hidy told WP school board members that for the most part WP students are meeting or exceeding state standards.

This year’s State of the School Reports will include 2010-2011 student performance for groups of students in reading, mathematics, science and writing along with information on schools designated as needing improvement under the federal law No Child Left Behind and those considered Persistently Lowest-Achieving Schools.

Hidy’s overview was given Monday night during the board’s regular monthly meeting.

Overall, said Hidy, students at Wauneta-Palisade did well on the Nebraska State Accountability (NeSA) tests.

“Our school exceeds the state average scores except for students in 11th grade,” noted Hidy, referring to scores on tests administered to last year’s 11th graders.

Test scores for last year’s third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth graders at WP show the vast majority of youngsters meeting or exceeding state standards with local average scores above state average scores for grade level.

Test data for last year’s 11th graders, however, shows room for improvement, with 53 percent not meeting state standards in reading and 65 percent coming up short in math testing.

Among WP fourth and eighth graders, 80 percent tested proficient in writing, slightly below the state average. A detailed breakdown will be provided following the release of the State of the Schools Report on Oct. 19.


Substance abuse policy

WP board member Bill Bischoff suggested that due to incidents that have arisen in recent months, and at the request of district parents, the board may want to consider reviewing the Student Substance Abuse Policy included in the student handbook. More to the point, is Wauneta-Palisade’s policy consistent with surrounding school districts and is it to fair students?

Board members have been contacted by district patrons regarding the policy with questions being raised as to whether the district policy is focused too intently on penalizing students rather than incentivizing them to take steps to learn from their mistakes through measures like counseling or diversion.

WP Superintendent Stan Sibley said that he thinks the local policy appears to be consistent with policies at other school districts where he has served.

At one time the local policy implemented ineligibility penalties only upon the conviction of a student. The policy now in place states that a student can be suspended from school activities if they are merely in the presence of alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs or drug paraphernalia.

This can include “being in and/around a vehicle where alcohol/drugs are possessed/consumed illegally” or “attending gatherings where alcohol/drugs are possessed/consumed illegally.” A court conviction is no longer needed as part of the ineligibility process.

“Part of our duty as an institution of learning is to foster men and women of character who can follow rules,” noted Sibley. “Any deterrent we can make against alcohol and drug use will benefit our students down the road.”

The policy will be reviewed at an upcoming meeting.


Personnel report

The following personnel recommendations were approved by the board:

• Continuation of Kenny Lawless in the newly created position of Director of Operations, Maintenance and Transportions with a 4 percent salary increase.

• One-year assignment for Roger Lauhead as head girls basketball coach.

• Hiring of Dannelle Bales as first grade teacher aide, filling the position formerly held by Marsha Cameron who recently moved with her husband to central Nebraska.


Further business

In other business the board:

• Amended this year’s school calendar making Wednesday, Nov. 30, a day off for students and a work day for staff as Wauneta-Palisade will host the District D2-5 One-Act Play Contest.

• Approved fuel purchases for the year with Wauneta Crossroads and Wauneta-Palisade Co-op Oil.

• Approved an agreement with the WP Education Association in designating the use of approximately $23,860 being made available through the Educators Health Alliance premium holiday. Of that total, $5,000 will be used for gifts and bonuses to staff with the remainder accruing to the district’s general fund.

• Discussed plans announced by the Bronco Boosters to provide $4,000 for a new school activity sign.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 October 2011 19:49