Wakefield-Marenisco district works at improving test scores
WAKEFIELD — The Wakefield-Marenisco Board of Education on Monday heard a report from the district’s School Improvement Team on changes in place for this school year to positively impact student achievement.
Superintendent Cathy Shamion told the board the staff, working with the SIT, analyzed state test results and identified areas in which to focus for increased student achievement.
“Our English Language Arts scores on the MSTEP have remained consistently good,” Shamion said. “This is the result of a five-year focus on literacy in grades K-6 and on having a dedicated 90-minute literacy block every day.”
The team agreed a similar approach to mathematics could create similar results on the state tests.
“We have added a 75-minute mathematics block to provide students with the same focus for that subject as we have had for reading and writing,” Shamion said. “Additionally, we have changed our math curriculum to one that is more closely aligned to state content standards.”
Third grade teacher Jason Gustafson said, “Every elementary classroom has a designated intervention time for students who may be struggling with mastering content. Those students are provided interventions based on their specific area of need and our Title 1 program has adopted a specific math curriculum designed to meet those needs.”
“Just because the focus for 2016-17 will be on mathematics does not mean the W-M district is ignoring reading and writing,” Shamion said.
“Our staff has worked to make sure our reading and writing curriculum is closely aligned to state content standards,” she said. “We are also using the services of literacy coach Jennifer Burla, from the Gogebic-Ontonagon Intermediate School District, to assist our teachers in making sure content standards are taught and measured appropriately.”
The GOISD is providing literacy coaching assistance to all six schools in the two- county region.
Shamion complimented the W-M staff and SIT for their work in analyzing data and determining an action plan for increasing student achievement.
In other action, the board:
—Heard that the second of four new buses was to be delivered Tuesday.
—Hired Isaac Boehnlein as K-12 music instructor and thanked Andrea Alleva and Luke Roderick for their work as substitutes in the music department while the district searched for a Michigan-certified teacher.
—Approved school funding for the junior high girls’ volleyball program. The program has been in place for seven years with volunteer coaches. The board approved recognizing the program as a school sport and funding it accordingly. “Our current varsity players have been playing organized volleyball since they were in sixth grade,” said board member Dan Obradovich. “The success of our varsity team shows us the importance of a solid feeder program. The Cardinals are on the map with volleyball.”
—Congratulated the Gogebic Miner boys’ cross country team for its successful showing in the U.P. Finals last weekend. They took second in Division 2. The Miner girls had a good meet, as well. The board thanked coach Lauren Korpi for her work with the co-op teams.