Board hears report on MCA testing

Chuck Kajer, Managing Editor

The New Prague Area School Board heard a brief report from Colleen Cardenuto, the district's Director of Curriculum and Testing, on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment test results that had been released over the past few weeks.

The report, which led off the board's meeting on Monday, Aug. 25, gave results on the reading, math and science tests that had been taken by students last year. She noted that the reading tests were taken by students in grades 3 through 8 and in grade 10, and that 10th graders must pass the test before they can graduate.

She presented graphs that showed New Prague was third among 10 comparable school districts in the reading. Math scores showed New Prague to be in the middle of the group, but noted that there was an area of concern at the middle school.

Science tests were taken for the first time last year, and at this time are not being used to judge whether the district is making adequate yearly progress according to the federal No Child Left Behind requirements. She noted that New Prague finished in the middle of the 10 comparable school districts, with the middle school finishing second of 10. There was some concern about scores at the elementary level, but noted that staff had already put an improvement plan in place.

Cardenuto addressed the math scores, noting that the district implemented an improvement plan last year, and will continue to work that plan. She noted that New Prague Middle School had recently been accepted into a Math and Science Academy program that will include added training for teachers in those areas.

She also told board members that the elementary schools are implementing their RTI (Response to Intervention) program this year, to try to identify students who need additional help in certain areas.

Finally, she noted that Marcia Tate, a national speaker on brain-based research, was scheduled to talk to teachers on Tuesday, Aug. 26, as part of the school workshop. Tate would be talking on differentiation during a morning session.

Eagle View concerns

A group of Eagle View Elementary parents talked to the board about class sizes for the second grade at the Elko New Market school. Tammy Curlo and Andi Stolck emphasized that the classes are at 26 students per room at this time, and noted that if a teacher were to be hired, that would only bring class sizes to 21 per room.

Superintendent Craig Menozzi said the district is monitoring numbers. At this time

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