Students at Pine-Strawberry Elementary School had their thinking caps on and working when they took the Stanford 9 Achievement Test this year. Most of their marks exceeded the average scores of both the county and state.
"We are extremely pleased because we have made tremendous gains across (nearly) all grades," Pine-Strawberry School principal, Kathe Ketchem said.
The test analyzed three areas reading, math and language arts for grades two through eight.
P-S students in nearly every grade surpassed the county and state averages in each subject area by significant amounts.
The state averages ranged between the 40th and 50th percentile rankings in each category, at each level. The county's averages fell below the state's averages. Pine students, however, primarily scored higher in the percentile rankings on the bell curve, attaining averages in the 60th and 70th percentiles, improving from the 1998-1999 school year.
"In one year, we evaluated the standards for the staff and the standards on the standardized tests, making sure that we are assessing our students accordingly," Ketchem said, "and we did it."
The only grade level that did not show improvement was the third grade. Instead, third-grade scores dropped dramatically in math and language arts. That grade level, Ketchem said, "needs to be looked at as a staff to target specifically and make sure that we stay consistent."
Pine-Strawberry School has relatively small class sizes that provide students with more one-on-one attention, Ketchem said, but that is not the only key to the school's Stanford 9 success.
"We offer a curriculum that is challenging," she said. "We have high standards and expectations for our students. We will continue to improve in all areas, looking at state reports at each level and working with the students as they progress."