ROCK SPRINGS — The Wyoming state-wide assessments (WY-TOPP) data from the spring of 2021 were examined at Sweetwater School District No. 1’s September board meeting.
Chief Academic Officer Jodie Garner presented the board with a presentation examining the scores of Sweetwater students to the state comparison data.
Garner noted that there are some things to keep in mind while examining the scores.
“When looking at the current testing data, use caution,” Garner said. “Know that student learning was interrupted in the spring of 2020, and may have affected learning in the last school year.”
The Wyoming Department of Education’s Assessment and Accountability Department referred to it as “disrupted data.” They told the district to use multiple data sources before making complete judgements about overall learning.
However, Garner said she saw “notable concerns” when looking at the test data.
The third grade English Language Arts scores are at 44.80%, compared to the state scores at 50.28%.
“I know that students’ success can be determined by looking at a student’s ability to read in the third grade,” Garner said.
Fourth, eighth and tenth grade science scores also fell below the state scores as well.
To combat this, Garner said the district has implemented certain things in the schools.
“Looking at our science scores, we know that science resources were adopted this past year,” Garner said. “Now we know we have materials that align to standards. We hope to see an immediate increase in these scores.”
Although some of the scores were lower than state data, third grade math scores rose above.
Also, sixth grade scores in English have been consistently close to the state data.
Regardless, the assessment scores won’t be used for any type of accountability purposes. Wyoming was given a waiver from the federal accountability requirements and the state board of education.
Moving forward, Garner said that the district is committed to supporting things that help with student learning such as: dedicated intervention time, professional development and support for loss of learning.
“As I look over the past three years, I’m concerned yet determined,” Garner said. “What will we do in Sweetwater No. 1? We know that our focus has been to keep teachers in the classroom. We will continue to do this to the best of our ability.”