WEST VALLEY—The West Valley Central School Board of Education heard results from the 2017 New York State Grades 3-8 English language arts and math assessments during its meeting Aug. 28.
In New York State, WVCS Principal Dan Amodeo said the proficiency level this year for ELA was at 39.8 percent, an increase of 1.9 percent from last year, and the proficiency level for math was 40.2 percent, an increase of 1.1 percent. At WVCS, the proficiency level for ELA was 43 percent in grades 3-5 and 14 percent for grades 6-8. In math, the WVCS proficiency level was at 50 percent for grades 3-5 and 27 percent for grades 6-8.
While some of the proficiency levels are lower than the state average, Amodeo said there were still areas of increase and factors that came into effect for the lower numbers in grades 6-8.
The size of the district combined with the refusal rate for the assessments was a factor, Amodeo said. The district’s refusal rate was 35 percent this year, decreased from last year’s 44 percent.
“Even though our number of refusals has decreased over the past few years, we still have quite a few students refusing and not just in our school, but across the state, typically those students that are refusing are typically your higher performing students,” Amodeo said. “When you have a small sample size, one or two students not performing at the proficient level is going to have a greater effect on the overall results.”
Specifically with eighth grade math, the district has had an advanced math program for the past four years. When those students come to the eighth grade, the state has allowed the district to use a waiver on advanced math students to not “double test” those students, which takes those students out of the equation in the overall results.
While the district will look at these numbers and figure out plans for improvement, Amodeo said the state stresses that these tests are just a snapshot of how a student is doing at one time in the year and that is why the state does not factor these tests in grade advancement or grade placement.
“This is a snapshot of how our students are doing at one particular time in the school year and we need to continue to identify areas of improvement,” Amodeo said. “Regardless of all the factors, it is still information we can use … it will give us some reliable information to try and focus our instruction and adapt our instructional programs to try and address those areas.”
In other board news:
– WVCS recently received the shipment of their new school furniture to be used throughout elementary and high school classrooms. Members of the district continue to work on the assembly of the furniture and are on track to have the furniture distributed among classrooms before the start of the school year.
– The board approved the 2017-18 tax levy in the total sum of $3,003,939, which will be the same as last year’s tax levy.
– WVCS Superintendent Eric Lawton recently had another meeting with Ellicottville Central School Superintendent Bob Miller and ECS Athletic Director Karl Schwartz about athletics scheduling and the possibility of having a girls volleyball game at WVCS.
– The board approved Alicia Castro and Antoinette Leonard as coaches for the Girls on the Run program. The board also approved the Boys on the Right Track program and approved Steve Gregor as the coach.
The next West Valley Central School Board of Education meeting will be Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. in the library conference room.