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Purcell Public Schools

Making the grade

John D. Montgomery
Posted 12/8/22

Purcell Junior High Principal Carol Testa was pleased last week with the latest report card from the Oklahoma State Department of Education.

In 2019 PJH’s overall grade was a …

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Purcell Public Schools

Making the grade

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Purcell Junior High Principal Carol Testa was pleased last week with the latest report card from the Oklahoma State Department of Education.

In 2019 PJH’s overall grade was a “D”.

Thanks to diligent work by the educators in that building the 2022 report card said the school had hiked its grade up to a “B”.

Schools are graded using four categories.

Academic Achievement: Based upon how many of students score proficient on the state tests in English language arts(ELA)(6th/7th/8th), math(6th/7th/8th) and science(8th grade only).

Academic Growth: Based upon the amount of progress students are making between consecutive years toward scoring proficient or better on the state tests.

ELPA Progress: Based upon the number of English learners meeting or exceeding their growth targets, the number of El’s that have exited via test scores and the number of 1st-4th year proficient El’s.

Another area that is weighted heavily in the equation is chronic absenteeism. The school has dropped its number from 5.70 in 2019 down to 4.43 in 2022.

That is based  upon the percentage of students in good attendance who are present 90 percent or more of instructional days based on our school calendar.

“Parents can help us score better in this area by getting kids to school regularly and avoid taking them to doctor or dentist appointments during the school day when possible,” Testa said.

Comparing the 2019 and 2022 report cards Academic Achievement was up 15.98 points,    Academic Growth is up 37.4 points, ELPA Progress is up 51.25 points and Chronic Absenteeism is down 3.77 points.

Making an “A” in ELPA Progress shows the hard work our staff and EL students are doing,” Testa said. “Mrs. Calixto (our EL assistant) works with these students daily. She is doing a tremendous job.

“The pandemic caused multiple school closures and loss of instructional time,” she continued. “This resulted in learning gaps with our students. As a staff, we focused on narrowing those gaps by identifying individual needs and targeting instruction to support our students. We used our Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) assessments to measure growth throughout the year. We are very fortunate to have NWEA as a resource so we can measure our student’s academic progress throughout the year.

“The assessment data was telling us our students were getting better and we were very excited when we received the state testing results. We have much more work to do and realize we have  a long way to go in getting our students to the proficient level, but last year we gained a big step in the right direction,” Testa confirmed.

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