School test scores are improving for English students thanks to specific tutoring programs, while programs to improve overall school district standardized test scores are also in place, Belleville school officials said Monday night.
Susan Grillo, the school district's director of curriculum and instruction, told the school board that the test results are mixed, but some of the extra efforts are improving some students' performances.
Some of the biggest improvement from the 2010-11 to 2011-12 school years was the improvement among students with limited English proficiency at the high school, Grillo said.
"We began offering tutoring to those students, and a little help goes a long way," she said.
In the eighth grade, the language arts percentage of students that scored proficient or advanced proficient was 81.6 for language arts and 71.8 in math, scores that are on the rise.
For the two middle school grades below, however, Grillo said the scores dropped in both areas by an average of almost five points, a trend she said seen across the state that's been attributed to tougher testing.
In the elementary schools, she said, news is better.
"Generally, most areas are moving up," Grillo said. "With our English as a Second Language, we are helping students to learn how to apply improved language abilities to the tests."
Some of the ongoing programs in place to improve student performance are: updating all curriculums, analyzing test scores to identify positive and negative trends, a new teacher’s academy to help new teachers share needed information and adding new test-taking strategies.
Everyday Math, a program in grades kindergarten through six, "is why we're seeing improvements in those grades," Grillo said.
Even earlier, she said early childhood programs "are making sure kindergartners are ready when school starts."
After the presentation, school board members did not ask any questions and said they were pleased with the presentation.