1998-1999 Progress Report on the Nevada School District Accountability Program: Review, Analysis and Recommendations

 

Introduction

School accountability legislation is intended to improve student academic achievement in Nevada’s schools.  In the view of the panelists who conducted the review, this year’s Nevada Accountability Report represents considerable progress toward improved academic achievement for Nevada’s seventeen county school districts.  Overall, data are more accurate and more focused.  Nevada school leaders have demonstrated a strong commitment to meeting the challenges, finding solutions to the teaching and learning problems, and reporting their progress to the public.

The Nevada legislative and executive branch leadership and staff should be commended for their tenacity and will in putting this accountability and reform system in place.  Accountability is working and it is making a demonstrable difference in the educational achievement of the children in this state.

Background

The Nevada Department of Education (NDE) produced a Handbook for School Accountability (Accountability Handbook) in October 1999, to aid school districts in preparing the 1998-99 accountability reports.  The introductory pages from that handbook provide the context for this report and are therefore quoted in this report.

“During the 1993 session, the Nevada State Legislature passed a School Accountability bill (NRS 385.347 revised) requiring all school districts in Nevada to inform the public on the performance of public schools throughout the state.  The Legislature passed a further revision (SB 386) of the School Accountability law during the 1995 session, and further revisions were included as part of the Nevada Education Reform Act, or NERA (SB 482) of 1997 (See Appendix A).  

In Nevada, school accountability is accomplished through a system of reports to the public.  The Boards of Trustees of all school districts in the state annually are required to report to the public during March concerning school site accountability information, as well as to report to various agencies and departments within the state. The accountability reports to the public must contain the following information:

·        Educational goals and objectives;

·        Comparisons of student achievement for the current school year with previous school years;

·        Number of students taking achievement tests under regular conditions and under special conditions, the number of students exempt from taking achievement tests for special education (IEP) or language (LAS) reasons, and the percentage of eligible students taking achievement tests;

·        Ratios of elementary students to teachers, core secondary class sizes, and other data concerning licensed and unlicensed employees of the district;

·        Comparisons of teacher assignments with the qualifications and licensure of teachers;

·        School expenditures per pupil and district sources of funding;

·        Curriculum employed by the school district, including any special programs for students at an individual school;

·        Record of attendance of teachers;

·        Records of attendance and truancy of students and grades 9-12 school dropout rates;

·        Efforts to increase communication and participation with parents of students;

·        School incidents involving weapons or violence, and suspension and expulsion of students per statutes involving weapons, violence, and distribution or use of alcohol and controlled substances;

·        Transiency rates;

·        For high schools, the percentage of graduates enrolling in remedial reading, writing, or mathematics courses at an institution within the University and Community College System of Nevada;

·        Information about technology available at each school; and

·        Other information as directed by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

The Nevada School Accountability Law charges the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, in consultation with representatives of various educational associations in the state, with prescribing the forms for the reports and ensuring the implementation of a uniform system of reporting that provides comparable information for schools across the state.”

A large number of data elements have been considered for inclusion in the accountability reports.  In choosing data elements, it was necessary to find a balance between all of the potential information available and efforts to keep critical information from being obscured in the accountability reports by lengthy tables of statistics.  Undoubtedly, there are certain data elements and information of interest to educators or to certain segments of the populous that do not appear in the Handbook.  In the end, the requirements of the School Accountability Law and judgments about the information of greatest concern to most parents of Nevada’s school children took precedence in making final decisions on the data elements featured in the present Accountability Handbook.  See Appendix A for the current version of the Accountability Law.

1998-1999 Accountability Review

In spring of 2000 the Legislative Bureau of Educational Accountability and Program Evaluation (LeBEAPE) developed a Request for Proposal (RFP), and conducted a competitive review of the proposals submitted to conduct a review of the 1998-1999 school accountability reports.  The contract was awarded to George C. Hill, a professor at the University of Nevada, Reno. Dr. Hill employed a review panel of Nevada university professors to review the reports of the state’s 17 school districts for the 1998-1999 academic year.

The school districts submitted the three parts of their 1998-1999 accountability reports to the NDE and LeBEAPE, as well as the other entities to which they were required to send these reports.  The LeBEAPE staff and NDE staff prepared data tables for the data elements required under the statute.  The data tables, based on 1998-1999 Accountability Reports, are in a document entitled, School Accountability Data Tables 1998-1999 School Year, which was available in the spring and early summer of 2000.  These tables are the source documents for this review.  Two additional reviews were undertaken at the request of LeBEAPE:  Review of individual charter school reports; and review of the final reports submitted by the Panels supervising the three elementary schools on academic probation.  Those Responses/reactions are found immediately following this introduction section. 

Each district is required to submit the following reports (these reports are referred to throughout individual district review reports):

Part I:  Individual School Accountability Reports

Each school in Nevada is required to provide parents of students enrolled in their school with a report that identifies specific characteristics and performance indicators for the school and for the school district as a whole.  Exceptions, definitions, and directions for reporting individual school information are reviewed in this section. 

Part II:  District-Wide School Accountability Reports

Each school district in Nevada is required to provide the general public with a report that lists specific characteristics and performance indicators for each school in the district and for the district as a whole.  As in the preceding section, exceptions, definitions, and directions for reporting the district-wide school reports are reviewed in this section.

Part III:  Reports on Effectiveness of Accountability Program 

In addition to forwarding the above reports, each school district is required to provide the above entities with a report on the effectiveness of their accountability program, efforts to correct any deficiencies identified, and plans for improving student achievement at the schools.  This section provides a general discussion and guidelines for district “reports of effectiveness.”  (Handbook for Implementation of NRS 385.347 School Accountability Legislation)

Analysis of the Accountability Reports

There are four components which make up the balance of this accountability review and about which the review panelists have made recommendations: (1) the effectiveness of the School Accountability Program in the state; (2) the status of each school that has been designated as “In Need of Improvement; (3) the evidence of the school district’s use of accountability information to improve the academic achievement of pupils in each school; and (4) the analysis of school accountability data for 1998-1999.

 

The review panel analyzed the school districts’ data elements by examining five categories of the accountability program and making recommendations in a sixth section.  This portion of the review will highlight summaries of the review panel’s findings in each of five categories.  The categories are as follows:

1.      A summary of the student performance and school characteristics deemed relevant to the evaluation of the district’s school performance based on data submitted to the State Board of Education and LeBEAPE in Part I school reports and Part II district-wide reports.  

Information found in the review of each district is a statistical profile of the district as well as data from required achievement tests, namely the 4th grade, 8th grade, and 10th grade TerraNova tests for both the 1998-1999 and 1999-2000 school years (SY).  In addition to the TerraNova tests, the High School Proficiency Examinations (HSPE) data for 1997-1998 and 1998-1999 were compared, as well as the 4th Grade Writing Proficiency Examination for 1999-2000 and the 8th Grade Writing Proficiency Examination for SYs 1998-1999 and 1999-2000.  Definitions of terms, along with year-to-year comparisons of state mandated tests, are found in Appendices B, C, and D respectively.  The data reported by districts was compared to that found in the School Accountability Data Tables 1998-1999 School Year.

2.      Areas the School Districts’ Part III Report identified as examples of exemplary achievement at the school site and/or areas of improvement in outcomes from those reported in the previous year and evidence that the areas were exemplary or improved.

             Information found in the review of each district contains district reports of exemplary performance or where major improvements were noted.  As before, all reports are compared to data found in the School Accountability Data Tables 1998-1999 School Year.

3.      Areas the School Districts’ Part III Report identified as in need of improvement at the school site(s) and evidence for any deficiencies addressed.   

This section of each district review compares individual school reports (Part I) and the district Part III reports to determine if identified needs are congruent with data found in the School Accountability Data Tables 1998-1999 School Year.

4.      Summary of the School Districts’ plan for improvement at the school site.

This section of each district review examines district Part III reports to determine if plans for improvement are congruent with data found in the School Accountability Data Tables 1998-1999 School Year.

5.      Sources of information to be used in determining effectiveness of the plan for improvement. 

Reviewers expected to find reference to TerraNova test scores, the High School Proficiency Examinations, 4th and 8th Grade Writing Proficiency Examinations, recorded data (attendance, dropout rates, truancy rates and school violence rates) and in some cases, district criterion-referenced tests (CRTs).

6.      Missing or incomplete data.

            Any required data that is not found, or data that is incorrect when compared to the School Accountability Data Tables 1998-1999 School Year, is noted in this section. 

7.      Recommendations of Panel members for improving analysis and use of accountability findings at the school level and, if applicable, at the district level. 

This section contains the review panel’s recommendation(s) for improving the reporting system for subsequent years.  It contains a commendation for an excellent effort where appropriate.

General Observations and Recommendations - Statewide

A summary of the student performance and school characteristics deemed relevant to the evaluation of the district’s school performance based on data submitted to the State Board of Education and LCB in Part I school reports and Part II district-wide reports.

Each of the seventeen county school districts made an effort to report and use the required accountability data.  Though not all of the seventeen county school districts provided all of the data and analysis required for a comprehensive databased decision making system, it is noted that virtually all of the school districts made improvements from their 1997-1998 to 1998-1999 reports.  Some school districts, such as Clark County, Douglas County, and Elko County produced reportsthat required building-site leadership to use the data to focus attention on deficiencies and make improvements in student achievement.  These three districts also developed excellent models for collecting and analyzing accountability data; they should be considered models for other districts.  In almost every district, there was a strong sense of resolve by the leadership to make this system of accountability work.

2.      Areas the School Districts’ Part III Report identified as examples of exemplary achievement at the school site and/or areas of improvement in outcomes from those reported in the previous year and evidence that the areas were exemplary or improved.

Almost all of the districts cited examples of exemplary achievement at school sites.  The most commonly cited examples were reading, writing or mathematics instructional programs.  In some cases, districts noted professional development activities or homework programs to which school staff attributed improved results.  Both the school districts and review panelists tried to highlight areas where there appeared to be growth and where there appeared to be problems.  The 1998-1999 accountability reports present more definitive responses to the issue of “exemplary achievement” than was evidenced in previous reports.

3.      Areas the School Districts’ Part III Report identified as in Need of Improvement at the school site(s) and evidence for any deficiencies addressed.

The designation of “In Need of Improvement” is assigned to all Nevada schools with more than 40 percent of their students falling within the lowest national quarter on all mandated subject areas of TerraNova.  The designation is not given to small schools where fewer than 10 students participate in regular testing at the mandated grade. For the 1998-1999 SY, the number of schools meeting the criteria for designation of “In Need of Improvement” continued to be low with only 10 schools designated as such.  Those schools are Fitzgerald and Madison elementary schools; Martin, Fremont, and Von Tobel middle schools and Mojave High School in the Clark County School District; West Wendover Junior-Senior High School in Elko County; Armagosa K-8 School in Nye County; Imlay Elementary School in Pershing County; and Loder Elementary School in Washoe County.  Although a relatively low number of schools were designated, ten schools represent an increase from the 1998-1999 reporting period when only five schools were designated.  Those five included four elementary schools, Booker, Fitzgerald, Lunt and Madison in Clark County and Mineral County’s Schurz K-8 School.

 

Each of these school sites has received special state-funded grants for implementing approved remedial programs, to help improve student achievement.  A reference to approved remedial programs can be found in Appendix E.  In addition to the special grants, staff from the NDE and the LeBEAPE will monitor each of the school sites during the 2000-2001 school year.  Evidence that school districts are “using accountability information to improve the academic achievement of the pupils in each school” is included in each of the review documents prepared by the panel reviewers.

The review panelists noted most of the school sites in which there was a pattern of low performance in one or more of the content areas (reading, mathematics, language arts, or science).  If fewer than 60% of the students scored at or above the 26th percentile compared to national norms in any of the content areas and the school did not focus on those areas in the plans for improvement, reviewers recommended those areas for inclusion in the improvement plans.  The review panelists highlighted these areas in each of the individual school districts’ reports.

4.      Summary of the School Districts’ plan for improvement at the school site.

Each of the seventeen districts submitted school-site improvement plans.  District improvement plans focused on the areas where the data showed there were problems in reading, language arts, mathematics, or science.  In cases where school sites were doing well, the emphasis was on continued improvement.

In general, greater attention was placed on reading and mathematics especially at the elementary level, which was evident in district planning.  Test scores were the impetus for this focus.  Statewide, improving school attendance rates continued to be a stated concern.

There appears to have been a concerted effort made in most districts to assist school site leadership staff in the collection and use of achievement data to identify problems and to engage the full staff and community in resolving the problems.  In many cases, panel reviewers recognized that this process is working in Nevada schools and, where it was not, the reviewers noted it in their reports.

5.      Sources of information to be used in determining effectiveness of the plan for improvement.

The major source of information concerning effectiveness of the plan for improvement was the standardized norm-referenced state mandated test, the TerraNova.  Districts are also using the Nevada writing tests, as well as the High School Proficiency Exam, as indicators of improvement.  Other data included dropout rates, truancy rates, statistics on student violence, and a variety of other indicators that are required under the provisions of the accountability law.

6.      Missing or incomplete data.

In most cases the reviewers noted data in district reports that was inconsistent with that in the School Accountability Data Tables 1998-1999 School Year.  Several districts did not report the percent of recent graduates who are enrolled in remedial college courses.  The required analysis of TerraNova scores of those students at schools where the transiency rate was higher than the statewide average was not found in several district reports.

7.         Recommendations of Panel members for improving analysis and use of accountability findings at the school level and, if applicable, at the district level.

As a result of decisions of the 1997 Legislature, several new components needed to be included in accountability reports.  The panel’s review of statewide data led to the following observations/ recommendations being made:

(a)                There is a need, statewide, for a validation process/system for test scores at the school level.  This process should be implemented when wide differences are found on test scores from year-to-year.  The reviewers noted a few school sites where large differences exist between present year scores and the previous year.  Any number of variables could account for such differences.  A validation process needs to be implemented.

(b)               The Part III reporting requirements for charter schools need to be aligned with district reporting requirements.  The panel found a wide variation in the reports from charter schools and often found that the reports were heavy with financial data and light on student achievement information.

(c)                Renewed attention should be given to schools with low scores on the TerraNova tests.  There are a significant number of schools that have over 60% of their students scoring in the bottom quarter in one to three areas.  These schools need attention and (probably) financial assistance to increase student achievement.

(d)        Need for improvement in the area of mathematics at both the elementary and secondary levels continues to be a theme in this current review.  The panel recommends further attention to the enhancement of the mathematics curriculum.  In areas where curricula mapping and teacher training has not occurred, the panel recommends that those steps be taken as soon as possible.

(e)        The panel continues to express concern about student attendance rates throughout the state.  It is recommended that attention be given to the provision of appropriate incentives for students to attend school.  In addition, consideration should be given to the provision of other alternative means whereby students may progress in their educational programs.  With the statewide average attendance rate at 93.3% the average student in Nevada is missing 12 days per year.

(f)         The panel again recommends that the requirement of reporting the cost of preparation of the accountability reports be discontinued or modified since there is a concern regarding the accuracy of some reports; and one district did not include the cost report.  The cost report had merit when the accountability reporting process was initiated, but the reviewers believe that the process has now become institutionalized and the cost reporting component needs to be evaluated to determine its contemporary relevancy.

(g)               Assistance should be provided to districts in correctly interpreting and reporting appropriate and accurate test score data.  The reviewers found that several districts misreported data to the public.  The panel recognizes that some districts may not have personnel with expertise to appropriately interpret test data and believes assistance to be an appropriate function and requirement of the NDE in light of NAC 389.0515 (4).

(h)               Districts should report all parental participation or the reason why the rate is not reported and districts with low participation should set goals to increase parental participation.

(i)         Data included in the District Part IIIReports shouldbe focused on current SY data and efforts.  This is a continuing recommendation.

(j)         That efforts should continue to reduce the ratio of students to computers across the state, as well as ensure that each school is connected to the Internet.  Although major progress has been made in this area, some schools continue to have a ratio is at an intolerable rate (two elementary schools in Nye County have ratios of almost 300 students to one computer) and some schools are not yet connected to the Internet.

(k)     The panel cautions readers to not be overly concerned about the seemingly low scores on the 4th Grade Writing examination.  This is a new test and is more of a diagnostic tool than a true achievement test.

            There are a number of other recommendations concerning the review process itself and the way in which data are analyzed that need to be considered for future reports.  They are:

(a)        The panelists recognized the difficulties experienced by some rural districts in the time and resources needed to prepare the report.  Districts might consider hiring regional consultants who could assist in the interpretation of test data, and, if necessary, the actual preparation of acceptable reports.  Section 16, Part 9 (b), of SB 555 of the 1999 Legislative Session contains language requiring professional development programs for “training for teachers and school administrators in the assessment and measurement of pupil achievement and the effective methods to analyze the test results and scores of pupils to improve the achievement and proficiency of pupils.”  Districts are urged to take full advantage of this opportunity to be better prepared to fully utilize testing and accountability data.  This was recommended last year and continues to be a pertinent and valid recommendation in this review.

(b)        A determination of the extent to which the date and information contained in the district reports is used to inform sate level educational policy and practice.

(c)            Concerns were also raised about the reporting of instances of violence.  There is a need to better define the terms so that reporting reflects a more accurate depiction of the occurrence.  There is also, undoubtedly, a need to better understand what steps a school is taking to maintain its security in providing a safe environment for children.  This was recommended last year and continues to be a pertinent and valid recommendation for this review.

Recommendations from Previous Reviews

There are past recommendations that the review panel believes are viable and remain appropriate to this accountability review process.  These are:

(a)            Districts should continue to make certain that the district goals are specifically focused on improving student achievement and that all of the building-site goals are aligned with district goals.

(b)            Superintendents and local school boards should continue the curriculum alignment process in each school district that will take into account the new standards in mathematics, English/language arts, science, and social studies.  These standards were established by the Council to Establish Academic Standards and adopted by the State Board of Education.  Districts should use those standards as benchmarks for their curriculum.  Significant differences from the current curriculum are very likely, and the new standards must eventually have related assessments.

(c)        Those school districts that are developing, or that have developed CRTs or other valid and reliable achievement tests, should report the scores in the school level accountability reports, even though the reporting of such tests is not required.  Future reviewers of accountability reports will want to compare CRT scores with TerraNova scores.  The district leadership should also review their CRTs to see how they are linked to the new state standards.  Ideally, this linking process should be developed and approved by the state.  The process should be technically sound and meet all the requirements of validity, reliability, and comparability.  There are a number of curriculum development and integrated assessment activities underway in Nevada school districts. These developmental curriculum and assessment activities should be interrelated, complimentary, and comprehensive, rather than unrelated, fragmented, and superficial.  The NDE will need to work with the districts in the development of this process.

(d)            Superintendents and local school boards should continue to give high priority to professional development activities for school-site personnel.  Among the goals of professional development should be helping teachers better understand testing and assessment, including test taking and test preparation skills for their students (SB 555 of the 1999 Legislative Session).  School districts must also give attention to the skills teachers and other school-site personnel will need as the higher and more rigorous content and performance standards are incorporated.  The review panel’s understanding is that staff development days are no longer counted as teacher absences (SB 70 of the 1999 Legislative Session).

The Accountability Review Panel’s District-By-District Analysis

The following section of this report includes the analysis of each of the 17 county school districts by the review panel.  Superintendents were given draft copies of the reviewers’ reports.  They were asked to review the reports for errors of fact and to submit any corrections to the contractor.  The superintendents expressed appreciation for having the opportunity to review the drafts.  In those instances where errors were found, they have been corrected.  When reading the reports, please note the following:

·        Clark County and Washoe County school districts are large and complex (educating over 80% of the state’s school students); this poses problems for the review panel.  Because of the size of these two districts, it is impossible to mention every school and/or individual best practices.  To do so would make this review lengthy and cumbersome.  On the other hand, the small size of several of the other districts allows specific schools and exemplary practices to be more fully reported.

·        Contemporary terminology has been used for low performing school designation.  “In Need of Improvement” is used throughout this review for consistency even though the term “Inadequate” was the legal term used in 1997-1998 and prior to that time.

·         Several districts provided clarification to reviews questions when they reviewed draft reports.  This is noted in the district report.

·         The review panel cautions policy makers against reading too much into year-to-year test scores comparisons where the number of students tested is very low.  Too many variables beyond the instructional program can confound results.  Looking at long-term trends is more appropriate and informative.

 

 

 

 

Charter School Report Review

During the 1998-1999 SY five charter schools operated in Nevada.  Four of the schools were in their first year of operation while the fifth was operating in its second year.  Charter schools are publicly funded and operated and as such fall under accountability reporting requirements of the state.

LeBEAPE requested that the panel review individual reports of the five charter schools operating in the 1998-1999 school year with the intent of providing recommendations for improving future reports.

Each school submitted a report that was both informative and indicated a desire to comply with state law.  The review panel made no effort to summarize findings by school since all these institutions are in their infancy.  The following observations/recommendations are general in nature and intended to provide guidance in improving future charter school reports.

The observations are:

1.            The reports contain an overwhelming amount of financial data for the typical reader; and

2.            The reports generally do not give the same level of information on student achievement that is found in district reports.

   The recommendations are:

1.      Two separate reports are considered.  One report would focus on financial information and the other should focus on student achievement data;

2.      Charter schools consider using a report comparable to the present Part I reports that the districts provide;

3.      Charter school personnel be provided training in the area of accountability reported; and

4.      The new NDE consultant for charter school advise schools on preparing all required accountability reports.


A Review of the

Final Reports of the State Panels to Supervise the Academic Probation of Booker, Fitzgerald, and Madison Elementary Schools

 

The three elementary schools listed above were operating with supervisory panels that had been appointed during the SY (1999-2000) reviewed. This is the first time panels have been appointed to oversee the academic probation and assist with school improvement efforts of those schools designated “In Need of Improvement” for two consecutive years.  Each school panel issued a final report of their efforts and findings.  The accountability review panel examined those individual school reports.  It is noted that this is the first time that such panel have been appointed and utilized by the NDE.

LeBEAPE requested that the accountability review panel react to the final reports of the three schools on academic probation.  The review panel had a lively discussion of the reports and offers several suggestions for the future.  Two of the schools, Fitzgerald and Madison, continued on academic probation through the current school year and that information was taken into consideration during the review panel discussion.  Several observations/recommendations are offered for improvement of the panel function and reports.

The following observation is made:

1.         The supervisory panels are be commended for their efforts in this undertaking

The following recommendations for future improvement of the supervisory panel process:

2.         That the appropriate NRS/NAC be reviewed to ensure that the panel focuses primarily on improving student achievement;

3.         In the future, reports focus on improving student achievement and report includes those efforts/activities that the panel has taken to improve achievement;

4.            Professional members of the supervisory panel have experience/expertise in improving low academic performing schools; and

5.         Panel members should be compensated for their efforts.

 

 

 


Carson City School District

Accountability Analysis

 

The Carson City School District Accountability Report for School year 1998‑1999 was in compliance with both the spirit and letter of the law.  There is congruency between data and those areas reported exemplary as well as those areas reported to be in need o f improvement.  Suggestions are made only for improving the content and process of future reports.

 

1.            Summary of the student performance and school characteristics deemed relevant to the evaluation of the district’s school performance based on data submitted to the State Board of Education and LeBEAPE in Part I school reports and Part II district-wide reports.  

 

Number of Pupils

 

         Having gained 70 students over the previous year, Carson City School District reached an enrollment of 8,358.  According to the School Accountability Data Tables for the 1998-99 school year, this represented a slight growth rate of 0.6%. The district was comprised of six elementary schools for kindergarten through fifth grade, and two middle schools serving grades six through eight, and one high school.  With the addition of a newly established Alternative High School at the Corbett campus, there are now two high schools.  In the 1998-99 report, however, the new high school, with an enrollment of 78, appeared to have been treated functionally as a satellite of Carson High School.

 

Student Attendance Rate

 

         District-wide student attendance rates remained steady at 94%, ranging from lows of 92% at Carson High School and Eagle Valley Middle School to a high of 96% at Mark Twain Elementary School. 

 

Teacher Attendance Rate

 

         Teacher attendance rose to 95%, a 2% increase from the previous year. It ranged from a low of 92% at Bordewich/Bray Elementary School to a high of 96% at Fremont and Fritsch Elementary Schools, Carson Middle School, and Carson High School. 

 

Dropout and Non-Promotion Rates

 

         The dropout rate at Carson High School was 2.6%, down from 5.2% the year before and 6% the year before that, indicating a positive trend.

 

         The non-promotion rates in Carson City School District for 1998-99 were between 1% and 2% of students in kindergarten and first grade, while less than 1% were retained in second through fifth grades.  Above fifth grade, no students were reported as being retained.

Truancy Rate

 

         The district's truancy rate rose to 3% and became a concern, especially at Fritsch Elementary School where the truancy rate was 11%.  It was also a concern at Eagle Valley Middle School, which had a 5% rate, and Carson High School, which had a 4% truancy rate.

 

Transiency Rate

 

         The transiency rate of 26% was slightly less than in the previous year and well below the statewide average of 37.5%.  Transiency ranged from a low of 10% at Fremont Elementary School to a high of 51% at Bordewich/Bray Elementary School.  The latter was nearly twice the district average.

 

Student/Teacher Ratios

 

    Elementary school class sizes were as follows: kindergarten classes averaged 25 students; first grade classes, 16; second grades, 16; third grades, 19; fourth grades, 26; fifth grades, 28; and sixth grades, which were in the middle schools, averaged 26.

 

         The district's average class size in secondary core courses was 21 in English and mathematics, 18 in science, and 22 in social studies.  The class sizes ranged from 23 to 28 at the middle school level and from 10 to 26 at Carson High School.  All sizes in the secondary core areas were lower than the previous year.

 

Student/Counselor Ratios

 

         The district-wide counselor to student ratio for 1998-99 was 1:548 but varied widely with 1:376 at Bordewich/Bray Elementary School, 1:402 at Carson City High School, and 1:702 at Fritsch Elementary School.  The district-wide average was slightly higher in 1998-1999 (1:548) than in 1997-1998 (1:529).

 

Suspension/Expulsion Rate

 

         In 1998-99, the number of students suspended or expelled was 114, down substantially (46%) from the previous year.  Once again the vast majority of offences (90 incidents) were violence against other students.  This was followed by weapons possession (12 cases).  In both categories, most of the incidents occurred at Carson High School with 46 of the former and 6 of the latter.  The reason cited by the district for the number of suspensions/expulsions was the implementation of a new "zero tolerance" policy. 

 

 

 

 

 

State Mandated Test Results: TerraNova, Fourth Grade

 

Terra Nova Results

4th Grade

 

 

SUBJECT

 

%

BOTTOM QUARTER

%

TOP

QUARTER

 

AVERAGE PERCENTILE

RANK

 

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

Reading

27

20

31.6

20

19

20.3

48

49

46

Language

24

25

27.6

24

21

24.4

49

47

50

Math

31

33

33.9

15

19

15.9

42

42

41

Science

19

12

21.8

19

21

18.8

50

55

49

 

 

         The district-wide performance of the 99% of the fourth graders who were tested indicated achievement similar to the national average in all areas.    The average reading scores were at the 46th percentile, language scores at the 50th percentile; mathematics at the 41st percentile; and science at the 49th percentile.  Each essentially approximated the state average for fourth graders except for math achievement, which was 15 percentile points below the state average.  While Fritsch and Seelinger Elementary School students scored at or above the 50th percentile level in all tested areas, none of the other elementary schools quite reached the 50th percentile level in any area.  This discrepancy was most pronounced in math where none of the other four schools’ test averages reached even the 40th percentile.

           

State Mandated Test Results: TerraNova, Eighth Grade

 

Terra Nova Results

8th Grade

 

 

SUBJECT

 

%

BOTTOM QUARTER

%

TOP

QUARTER

 

AVERAGE PERCENTILE

RANK

 

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

Reading

13

16

18.3

33

31

31.6

60

58

59

Language

17

20

21.8

26

20

21.8

57

51

52

Math

16

16

15.2

33

29

28.7

60

59

59

Science

15

12

16.9

27

27

31.4

58

60

59

 

        At the eighth grade level, 99% of eligible students took the TerraNova tests in October 1999. At this grade level, district average scores surpassed the state averages in all four areas -- by eight percentile points in reading, by one point in language, by ten in math, and by 11 in science.  The average achievement level was at the 59th percentile in all areas but language, which was at the 52nd percentile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

State Mandated Test Results: TerraNova, Tenth Grade

 

Terra Nova Results

10th Grade

 

 

SUBJECT

 

%

BOTTOM QUARTER

%

TOP

QUARTER

 

AVERAGE PERCENTILE

RANK

 

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

Reading

14

19

15.5

36

40

32.0

64

64

61

Language

18

17

16.4

30

31

24.4

57

60

55

Math

25

17

16.0

31

38

29.8

55

64

59

Science

22

6

16.5

31

36

32.4

55

67

61

 

 

        Of the eligible tenth grade Carson City students, 97% took the TerraNova tests. Results showed that, in October 1999, average tenth grade scores on the TerraNova were at the 61st percentile in reading, the 55th percentile in language, the 59th percentile in mathematics, and 61st percentile in science. These performances substantially exceeded national averages.  They also surpassed state averages.

 

            It should be noted that, while the average fourth grade achievement was at or slightly below the national norms, eighth grade achievement exceeded national norms in all four areas and tenth grade achievement was even higher compared to national averages.  Based on these results, all Carson City School District schools were rated as "Adequate" although none reached "High Achievement" status.

 

State Mandated Test Results: Writing Exams

 

Writing Examination

4th and 8th Grade

MEASURED TRAIT

 

 

PERCENT PROFICIENT

 

 

4TH GRADE

 

8TH GRADE

 

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

Ideas

NA

NR

49.0

75.3

82.5

81.4

Organization

NA

NR

44.7

71.5

77.9

77.7

Voice

NA

NR

42.1

68.9

83.3

78.6

Conventions

NA

NR

46.4

71.8

66.4

72.4

 

         Fourth Grade: On the new fourth grade writing examination the percent of Carson City students demonstrating proficiency was 49% on Ideas, 45% on Organization, 42% on Voice, and 48% on Conventions.  These were from 4 to 5 points below state average scores in each of the four areas.

 

         Eighth Grade: The results of the eighth grade writing examination revealed that, district-wide, students demonstrated proficiency in each of the four areas at rates of 81.4% in Ideas, 77.7% in Organization, 78.6% in Voice and 72.4% in Conventions.  These evaluations approximated or surpassed state levels in each of the areas.  Only in Voice was there an indication of a slight decline from the previous year.  More students at Eagle Valley Middle School demonstrated proficiency than at Carson Middle School.  Between-school differences ranged from 6 to 13 percentage points in the four areas.

 

State Mandated Test Results: High School Proficiency Exam

 

High School Proficiency Examination

 

PERCENT PASSING

 

%

DENIED DIPLOMA

READING

MATH

WRITING

 

96-97

97-98

98-99

96-97

97-98

98-99

96-97

97-98

98-99

96-97

97-98

98-99

 

99.2

 

83.0

 

99.8

 

99.2

 

72.0

 

98.6

 

98.7

 

99.5

 

100.0

 

NA

 

NA

 

0.51

 

         On the Nevada High School Proficiency Examination, Carson City seniors demonstrated proficiency at rates of 99.8% in reading, 98.6% in mathematics, and 100% in writing.  These levels were almost identical to those of the previous year.  The district report stated that only 0.51% of Carson High School seniors who took the tests did not receive their standard diploma as a result of failing them.

           

ACT/SAT Results

 

ACT Results

 

% SENIORS TAKING ACT

ACT COMPOSITE SCORE

1996-97

1997-98

1998-99

1996-97

1997-98

1998-99

 

47.5

 

49.0

 

55.6

 

22.3

 

21.8

 

22.3

 

 

 

SAT Results

 

% SENIORS TAKING SAT

SAT

VERBAL AVERAGE

SAT

MATH AVERAGE

96-97

97-98

98-99

96-97

97-98

98-99

96-97

97-98

98-99

 

46.0

 

42.0

 

53.1

 

539

 

517

 

518

 

520

 

501

 

515

 

         The ACT was taken by 55.6% of the graduating class.  The average score was 22.3 on this test.  This surpassed the state composite score of 21.5 and the national average of 21.0. Similarly, 53.1% of graduating seniors took the SAT and attained average scores of 518 on the Verbal and 515 on the Math portions.  The average combined score of 1033 surpassed the state average of 1029 and the national average of 1016.

 

 

 

 

Special Programs

 

         Participation in elementary special programs district-wide included 14% enrollment in special education classes, with four of the elementary schools approximating this proportion.  Bordewich/Bray Elementary School housed three self-contained special education classes and had 19% of its students enrolled in special education, while Empire Elementary School had only 10% special education students.  Eleven percent of Carson City elementary students were enrolled in classes for English as a Second Language, 1% in migrant education, 4% in gifted and talented, and 5% in after school care.  Forty percent of elementary children qualified for free- or reduced-price meals.  However the proportion of students varied greatly among elementary schools, ranging from 74% at Empire Elementary School, 57% at Bordewich/Bray, and 53% at Mark Twain to lower percentages of 20% at Fritsch Elementary School, 26% at Fremont, and 36% at Seelinger. 

 

         More than 90% of elementary students were enrolled in music and computer education classes, with 93% in music and 96% in computer education.  Physical education classes were provided for 74% of students and art classes for 65%.

 

         Among secondary students, 14% were enrolled in special education and 5% in English as a Second Language classes.  Occupational education served 69% of secondary students, but this varied with Carson High School serving 43% and the middle schools each serving between 81% and 84%.  Secondary music class participation also varied with 22.5% enrolled at Carson Middle School, 32% at Eagle Valley and 15% at Carson High School.  In art classes, participation included 72% of the students at Carson Middle School, 82% at Eagle Valley, and only 17% at the high school.  Foreign language class enrollment included 10% at Carson Middle School, 3% at Eagle Valley, and 29% at Carson High School.  Advanced placement classes enrolled 8% of high school students, and 57% of secondary students participated in athletics. The secondary school course listings reflected a diverse and comprehensive curriculum in the general, special-needs, and college preparatory and occupational domains.

 

Teachers

 

         In 1998-99, the profile of Carson City teachers showed that 20% held the master's degree and the remaining 80% held the bachelor's degree.  Half (50%) had ten years or more of experience, and 30% had between 4 and 9 years of teaching experience.  Only 6% were new to teaching, and 14% had been teaching between 1 and 3 years.  Less than one half of one percent of teachers were assigned outside their area of licensure and seven of the nine schools had no teachers assigned outside their licensure area.

 

Technology/Computers

 

         The district completed cabling of all of its schools in 1998-99.  A "Tech Center" was made functional at Carson High School. Though owned by Western Nevada Community College, the high school students and teachers used the facility during daytime hours.  In 1998-99 the district owned about 400 computers, of which 338 had Internet access.  They were dispersed through computer labs at all schools in the district.  Bordewich/Bray Elementary School was the only school that did not have Internet access in its computer lab.  It did have Internet access in its library, as did both middle schools and the high school. Media centers were networked at all schools except for three of the elementary schools.   Only the new alternative high school had classroom computers with Internet access. The student-to-computer ratio of approximately 20:1 was fairly evenly distributed at all levels and in all schools.

 

Remedial College Courses (UCCSN Class Enrollments)

 

The Carson City School district reported that 14% of their recent graduates enrolled in remedial courses.

 

Expenditures

 

         Carson City School District reported per-pupil expenditures of $3,695.21 on instruction, $611 on administration, $575 on operations, $177 on staff support, and $651 on student support.  The district received $60,955 in Comprehensive School Reform Demonstration funds during 1998-99. 

 

Parent Involvement

 

         Attendance at the year's initial parent/guardian/teacher conferences, among elementary schools, averaged 78% across the district, down from 83% the previous year.  Four of the six elementary schools lead the way with an attendance rates over 90%. These were Fremont (96%), Fritsch (99%), Mark Twain (94%), and Seelinger (96%).  Empire was close behind with 89% and Bordewich/Bray had 79%.  Additional parental involvement activities in the district were parent orientations and workshops; PTA/PTO, Booster Clubs and/or PTSA meetings during the year; and distribution of periodic newsletters to parents at all schools.  Parents were on advisory committees or task forces at five of the elementary schools, both middle schools, and the high school.  Parents served as classroom aides at all elementary schools, Eagle Valley Middle School and the high school.  Finally, mail surveys were conducted to determine parents’ attitudes and degree of satisfaction with the schools by two elementary schools, both middle schools, and the high school.

 

2.      Areas the School Districts’ Part III Report identified as examples of exemplary achievement at the school site and/or areas of improvement in outcomes from those reported in the previous year and evidence that the areas were exemplary or improved.

 

         Consistent and persistent implementation of the district Strategic Plan. For the third consecutive year the district diligently implemented its Strategic Plan first developed in 1997-98.  The district worked to improve aspects of the plan, develop benchmarks, and detail goals and tasks to be accomplished at each of the nine school sites. In doing so, the district consistently followed the basic objectives it set out to accomplish, continued to use the plan as a guide, and incorporated it in its communications both within the district and with parent and community groups.

 

         Continued the systematic improvement of K-5 reading skills.  A reading program, Success For All, was implemented for kindergarten through fifth grade at three Title I elementary schools while two non-Title I elementary schools began training staff in the Cell/ExLL program.  Four additional Reading Recovery teachers were trained.  These efforts contributed to the improved student achievement and improved teacher proficiency in the teaching of reading.

 

         Evaluation of the Even Start program.  Pre- and post-data on school readiness were collected and analyzed using the PPVT/TVIP measuring devices.  The data showed that children in Title I schools still lagged behind those in non-Title I schools, but that they were making gains more quickly.  This reinforced the efficacy of Even Start interventions.

 

3.      Areas the School Districts’ Part III Report identified as in need of improvement at the school site(s) and evidence for any deficiencies addressed.   

         Improve Writing Skills in Elementary Schools.   Based on the performance on state writing examinations, especially at the fourth grade level, the district determined that there was much room for improvement in the writing skills of elementary children in Carson City School District.

 

         Bring District Curriculum into 100% Alignment with State Standards.  This goal was 75% completed for reading, language, and math and nearly totally completed for science at all school sites, but needed to be finished.

 

4.      Summary of the School Districts’ plan for improvement at the school site.

 

         Improvement of Writing.  Professional development in the traits writing process was planned for elementary teachers in kindergarten through the fourth grade classes in order to improve the writing skills of pupils at those levels and lead to higher achievement.

 

         Alignment of the Curriculum.  Plans were made to continue the task of aligning local curriculum with State Standards by: (1) offering in-service in the process of curriculum mapping; (2) developing curriculum maps at each school site focusing on the areas of reading, language, and math that are in congruence with State Standards; and (3) reaching a consensus on the maps at both the site and district levels. The target date set for completion of this project was November 2000.

 

 

 

 

5.      Sources of information to be used in determining effectiveness of the plan for improvement. 

 

         Improvement in Writing.   Improvement of fourth grade writing performance will be judged by achievement as reflected by higher scores on the TerraNova and the fourth grade state writing examination.

 

         Alignment of the Curriculum.   Completion of this task can be judged when consensus has been reached as to whether the curriculum maps do indeed reflect alignment with State Standards in each of the four areas.

 

6.      Missing or incomplete data.

 

         It was unclear whether the new Alternative High School had been established as a separate site school or as merely a satellite of Carson City High School.  

 

         The data on special programs were not aggregated for the six elementary schools or for the two middle schools.  For example, only district averages were given for art and for music, rather than elementary averages and middle school averages.  This made it difficult to analyze participation at these school levels.

 

         There was a slight difference in the K-5 retention figures of the district and that listed in the State Accountability Data Tables for 1998-99.

 

7.      Recommendations of Panel members for improving analysis and use of accountability findings at the school level and, if applicable, at the district level. 

        1.            Aggregate the data on average levels of participation in special programs by school level (elementary, middle, and high school).

 

       2.  Clarify how the new Alternative High School is to be classified in the future -- as a separate school or as a satellite of Carson High School.  If it is to be an autonomous high school then all data need to be disaggregated.  (This was clarified when the district reviewed the report.  It is a division of the high school)

 

3.   Secure and utilize an outside monitor for the Success for All reading program. (It is understood that this is happening). 

  


Churchill County School District

Accountability Analysis

 

 

The Churchill County School District Accountability Report for School year 1998‑1999 was in compliance with both the spirit and letter of the law.  There is congruency between data and those areas reported an exemplary and well as those areas reported to be in need o f improvement.  Several suggestions are made for improving the content and process of future reports.

 

1.      A summary of the student performance and school characteristics deemed relevant to the evaluation of the district’s school performance based on data submitted to the State Board of Education and LeBEAPE in Part I school reports and Part II district-wide reports.  

 

Number of Pupils

           

      The Churchill Country School District served 4,824 students in 1998-1999, an increase of 1% over the previous year.  Students attended schools at eight different locations, including a pre-school, five elementary schools, a junior high, and a high school.

 

Student Attendance Rate

 

      The attendance rate for the 1998-1999 school year was 93.7%, just slightly lower than the rate of 93.9% for the previous year.  Attendance rates for individual schools varied from 92.5% at Churchill County High School to 95.6% at West End Elementary.

 

Teacher Absence Rate

 

      The teacher attendance rate in 1998-1999 was 92.9%, a slight increase over the rate for the 92.6% previous school year.

 

Dropout and Non-Promotion Rates

 

      The district reported a dropout rate of 4.0%, down from 6.6% the previous year.  The district reported an overall rate of 1% of students being retained in grade level; the highest non-promotion rate reported was first grade, which had a 5% retention rate.

 

Truancy Rate

 

      The district reported a truancy rate of 2.6%; the two schools with the highest rates were Churchill County High School (7.0%) and Lahontan Elementary School (4.6%).

 

Transiency Rate

 

      The district showed a transiency rate of 25%, the same as the previous year.  Lahontan Elementary had the highest rate in the district (37%), followed by Numa Elementary (32%); while Northside Elementary and Churchill County Junior High had the lowest rate (18%).

 

 

 

Student/Teacher Ratios

 

      Teacher/student ratios in most elementary grades had a range of three or less; first grade classes, for example, showed a low of 1:15 and a high of 1:17 and fifth grade classes ranged from 1:27 to 1:29.  There were some exceptions: Lahontan Elementary had a 1:25 ratio in the sixth grade, whereas the sixth grades in the four other schools had a 1:29 ratio.  High school ratios in core courses ranged from 1:23 to 1:29.  In general, the ratios were comparable to those from the previous year.

 

Student / Counselor Rate

 

      The Churchill County School District showed a counselor/student ratio of 1:482, which is a slight increase over the previous year.  The range was 1:358 to 1:693.

 

Suspension / Expulsion Rate

 

      The district reported 201 instances of students being suspended or expelled; of these, 156 disciplinary actions (77.6%) were taken for violence to other students.  Most suspensions for violence toward students in 1998-99 took place at the junior high (53), followed by the high school and West End Elementary (34 each).  The previous year's report showed only 80 students being suspended/expelled for incidents in this category district-wide.

 

State Mandated Test Results: TerraNova: Fourth Grade


 

Terra Nova Results

4th Grade

 

 

SUBJECT

 

%

BOTTOM QUARTER

%

TOP

QUARTER

 

AVERAGE PERCENTILE

RANK

 

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

Reading

37

21

18.9

15

15

22.6

39

49

54

Language

39

28

23.8

18

19

28.6

39

44

53

Math

35

22

17.4

12

23

29.5

39

52

59

Science

31

13

14.9

17

22

24.1

42

56

57


 

        District scores at the fourth grade showed a consistent pattern of improvement over the three- year-period from 1997 to 1999.   These trends were also notable on a school-by-school basis; for example, E. C. Best Elementary, which had been designated as a school "In Need of Improvement" in 1997-1998, lowered its percentage of students in the bottom quarter in reading from 44% to 21 %, while doubling its percentage in the top quarter from 8% to 16%.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

State Mandated Test Results: TerraNova: Eighth Grade

 

Terra Nova Results

8th Grade

 

 

SUBJECT

 

%

BOTTOM QUARTER

%

TOP

QUARTER

 

AVERAGE PERCENTILE

RANK

 

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

Reading

22

16

18.4

27

27

34.4

55

56

59

Language

23

24

20.7

26

23

26.6

52

51

55

Math

26

27

21.8

28

26

31.1

50

51

56

Science

17

12

17.4

26

20

27.1

55

54

57

 

         Test scores at Churchill County Junior High showed a trend toward improvement in all four tested areas.  Though changes were not large, they were still notable.

 

State Mandated Test Results: TerraNova: Tenth Grade

 

Terra Nova Results

10th Grade

 

 

SUBJECT

 

%

BOTTOM QUARTER

%

TOP

QUARTER

 

AVERAGE PERCENTILE

RANK

 

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

Reading

16

17

17.7

32

32

31.1

60

61

60

Language

16

16

16.8

26

30

28.6

55

58

58

Math

17

25

22.6

28

30

26.9

57

53

55

Science

10

7

12.5

37

30

38.6

66

64

66

 

        Average percentile ranks at Churchill County High School also showed small but steady growth over the three-year-period.  Such growth was particularly notable since the school started with above-average scores; for example, the percent of students scoring in the top quarter in science improved from 37% to 40% during this time.

 

State Mandated Test Results: Writing Exam

 

Writing Examination

4th and 8th Grade

 

 

MEASURED TRAIT

 

 

PERCENT PROFICIENT

 

 

4TH GRADE

 

8TH GRADE

 

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

Ideas

NA

NR

62.1

56.0

83.0

80.4

Organization

NA

NR

58.9

57.0

81.0

76.1

Voice

NA

NR

59.7

53.0

75.9

76.4

Conventions

NA

NR

57.0

66.0

72.3

66.5

 

        Over half of the students in Churchill County, at both 4th and 8th grade, showed proficiency in each of the four categories measured by the state writing examination.  Eighth grade scores were consistently higher than those for 4th grade.

 

State Mandated Test Results: High School Proficiency Exam

 

High School Proficiency Examination

PERCENT PASSING

%

DENIED DIPLOMA

READING

MATH

WRITING

 

96-97

97-98

98-99

96-97

97-98

98-99

96-97

97-98

98-99

96-97

97-98

98-99

 

98.0

 

92.8

 

99.1

 

100.0

 

96.0

 

98.3

 

100.0

 

96.8

 

99.1

 

NA

 

NA

 

2

 

        After a decline in all three areas in 1997-98, the district showed an improvement in all three measured areas in 1998-99.  Ninety-eight percent of seniors passed the proficiency examination.

 

ACT / SAT Results

 

ACT Results

 

% SENIORS TAKING ACT

ACT COMPOSITE SCORE

1996-97

1997-98

1998-99

1996-97

1997-98

1998-99

 

51

 

40

 

53

 

22.1

 

21.9

 

21.9

 

 

SAT Results

 

% SENIORS TAKING SAT

SAT

VERBAL AVERAGE

SAT

MATH AVERAGE

96-97

97-98

98-99

96-97

97-98

98-99

96-97

97-98

98-99

 

30

 

14

 

16

 

418

 

508

 

578

 

508

 

496

 

560

 

        The percentage of seniors taking the ACT examinations decreased in 1998-99 from 1997-1998 an increased slightly for those taking the SAT.  Scores on the ACT have remained steady at 22 over the last three years.  Scores of 1999 graduates on the SAT represented an improvement on both the Verbal and Math portions over those of the prior year, resulting in an average composite score of 1138.  Churchill County students’ average scores exceeded the national average on both these tests.

 

Special Programs

 

        District-wide in Churchill County, 18% of elementary students participated in special education programs, an increase of 3% over the previous year; participation at the secondary level was 11%.   At the elementary level, 100% of students participated in art, music, physical education, and computer instruction.  Thirty-percent of elementary students participated in the free-and-reduced price meal program.

 

        At the elementary level, 5% of students were in the gifted and talented program; at the high school, 4% of students were in advanced placement courses, and 37% took a foreign language course.  Special education participation was up 1% at both secondary schools from 12 to 13 percent at the junior high school and from 9 to 10 percent at the high school

 

Teachers

 

        All of the teachers in Churchill County hold licenses in their teaching fields.  Data on teacher education and experience reflected a stable teaching force.  Although nearly half of the faculty (49%) has ten or more years of experience, comparatively few teachers hold advanced degrees, as previously noted.  Persons outside their respective area of licensure taught none of the core secondary courses.

 

Technology / Computers

 

        The overall computer/student ratio in the district was reported at 1:8 with 1:10 being the highest at any school.  All computers available for student instructional use were at the Pentium level and use Windows 95.  Internet connectivity greatly increased, and the number of classroom computers (as opposed to those in labs) grew from 64 to 254.  District fiscal commitment for technology remained high, and the district took significant steps to meet recommendations given in the previous report.

 

Remedial College Courses (UCCSN Class Enrollments.

 

        The Churchill County School District reported that 7% of their recent graduates enrolled in remedial courses.

 

Expenditures

 

        For the 1998-99 school year, the district showed a per-pupil expenditure for instruction at $3,924, slightly lower than the state average, and a decrease from $4,063 the previous year.  On the other hand, per-pupil expenditures for administration rose $521 to $712, about $100 above the state average.  Increases were also noted in the areas of operations, staff support, and student support.

 

Parent Involvement

 

         The percentage of parents attending the first school conference was reported as 47%, similar to the 48% reported in the previous year.  At the elementary level, these figures ranged from a low of 51% at Numa Elementary to a high of 96% at West End.  The figures for the junior high (15%) and the high school (7%) were significantly below those for the earlier grades.  The previous year each secondary school showed an 11% rate of involvement, and this continued to be quite low.  


2.      Areas the School Districts’ Part III Report identified as examples of exemplary achievement at the school site and/or areas of improvement in outcomes from those reported in the previous year and evidence that the areas were exemplary or improved.

 

         The Churchill County School District showed considerable improvement in student achievement as measured by required examinations.  Staff development was provided in several areas to support faculty with curriculum improvement and integration of technology.  Over the three-year period covered in this report, the high school dropout rate was reduced from 11% to 4%; new alternative education programs were used in this effort.  Churchill County High School reported that all advanced placement English students who took the national test in 1999 scored high enough to receive college credit for their work.  (The number or percent of these students who took the national AP English test was not reported which the review panel believes to be of importance and interest.) The district also made considerable progress in the area of technology use.

 

3.            Areas the School Districts’ Part III Report identified as in need of improvement at the school site(s) and evidence for any deficiencies addressed.   

 

         The district had identified student attainment of academic skills as a major priority, and took steps at both the district and school level to improve results.  Honors programs were expanded, and alternative education programs established.   Technological capacity within the district was also been greatly enhanced.

 

         Each school report gave solid evidence of progress toward goals in these areas and outlined the steps taken to achieve such growth.

 

4.      Summary of the School Districts’ plan for improvement at the school site.

 

         District-wide and at the individual schools, there were clear presentations of past goals, and data relevant to the achievement of such goals were provided.  Schools reports provided evidence of activities such as the implementation of a writing improvement plan and expansion of tutoring programs.  These are commendable.  What would be useful, however, is to supplement the look backward with a look forward what are the goals for the future and what steps are being taken to reach them?

 

5.            Sources of information to be used in determining effectiveness of the plan for improvement. 

 

         The district report relied upon scores on state-mandated exams, attendance rates, fiscal information, etc.  This material was presented accurately and in clear, accessible formats.

 

6.      Missing or incomplete data.

     

         Except as noted in section 4 above, the Churchill County School District provided all data required for the accountability process.

 

 

7.            Recommendations of Panel members for improving analysis and use of accountability findings at the school level and, if applicable, at the district level. 

 

1.            Statements of past goals and progress toward them were well covered in the report. However, given the timing of the accountability process, the district should also be able to provide insight on future goals and the activities planned to achieve them.  No doubt, given recent accomplishments, such plans exist, and inclusion of them would reinforce the focus on continual improvement, which the district appears to be implementing.

 

2.            Parental involvement in the district, especially at the secondary level, continues to be quite low.  The district should develop plans at the individual school level to increase such involvement, using a variety of methods, especially at the secondary level.  Although this report used data only from the first parent conference, other indicators could be developed at the local level.


Clark County School District Accountability Analysis

Accountability Analysis

 

The introductory section of the district report includes all of the necessary information: mission statement, superintendent's message, district highlights, and specific goals, with a description of progress toward those goals.  The goals ranged from strengthening the link between student achievement data and school performance to increasing parent and community involvement in the schools. Highlights included the building program and the accomplishments of the Human Resources Division in hiring over 1,100 new teachers each year.  The Clark County School District report should be used as a model.

 

1.         A summary of the student performance and school characteristics deemed relevant to evaluation of the district’s school performance based on data submitted to the State Board of Education and LeBEAPE in Part I school reports and Part II district-wide reports.  

 

Number of Pupils

 

         The district-wide pupil enrollment increased from 190,822 (1997-98) to 203, 777 (1998-99), an increase of 6.8%. There are 227 schools in the district in various configurations, including 147 elementary schools, 34 middle schools, 28 high schools, 14 alternative schools and 4 special schools. 

Student Attendance

 

         The student attendance rate was 93.3% in 1998-1999 compared to 92.0% for the previous year for an increase of 1.3%. There was no elementary school where attendance fell below 90%. Western High School’s attendance rate for the last two years; 1997-98 (84%) and 1998-99 (86%) stands out as quite low when being compared with the rest of the high schools.

Teacher Attendance Rate

 

         The teacher attendance rate increased from 94% the previous year to 95% in 1998-99.

Dropout/Retention Rate

 

         The dropout rate for grades 9-12 was 9% representing a decline of 3% from last year’s rate of 11.8%.  Twenty high schools showed a decline in dropouts; for example, some schools declined from 14% to 2%, 13% to 3%, 18% to 12% and 12% to 6%.  Five high schools remained the same and none had substantial increases in dropouts.  The retention rate in K-7 ranges from 0-2%, with a median of 1%.

 

Truancy Rate

 

         The school district defines habitual truancy as 3 unexcused absences and reported a 0.4% district-wide habitual truancy rate for the 1998-1999 school year.

 

Transiency Rate

 

         The transiency level has decreased district-wide by 2% from 45% in 1997-98 to 43% in 1998-99.  In an analysis provided by the district, eighth grade students with two or more years in the district consistently perform higher on the TerraNova tests than students from the same schools with fewer than two years in the district.  The margin at the eighth grade between students with two or more years residency and students with fewer than two years is somewhat greater for the subset of high transiency schools than for the district.  Also, and even more significant, is that high transiency schools score lower than the district as a whole.  “Newer” students are more behind in the district than “established” students.  Tenth grade-students from the high transiency schools consistently showed a lower performance on TerraNova tests than students with two or more years than for the district overall.  Equally significant is that the high transiency schools score lower than the overall district with the contrast becoming larger for students with fewer than two year years.  Apparently high transiency has a cumulative effect.  Newer students at grade 10 score considerably lower than district averages, this is probably due to the cumulative effect of constantly moving.

 

Student/Teacher Ratio(s)

 

         The 1998-99 student teacher ratios vary from 24:1 in kindergarten (constant over last 2 years); 16:1 in grades one and two (no change from previous year) with range of 12-18:1 in grade one and in grade two and 19:1  (decrease by 4 students from previous year) in grade three with a range of 14-21:1; 28:1 in grade four (decrease by 1 student from previous year) and grade five has remained constant at 28:1.  The school district includes grades 6-12 under secondary for student/teacher ratios.  The class size average in all content areas is 28:1, with the exception of English reported as 27:1.  This is consistent with the report from the previous year except for social studies, which decline by one student from the previous year. 

 

Student Counselor Ratio

 

         The district-wide counselor/student ratio showed a slight improvement from 1997-1999 to 1998-1999 declining from 1:553 to 1:521.  The range, however, was quite wide with one elementary school (Garehime) having a ratio of 1:2074.

Suspension/Expulsion Rate

 

         Possession and/or use of controlled substances, and possession and/or use of alcohol have both shown substantial increases from 1997-98 to 1998-99, there is also an increase in student-to-student acts of violence. The incidences of possession of weapons remained virtually flat despite growth in student population.  At the elementary school level, Christensen reported five cases of violence to staff and Gragson and Harmon both had 11 incidences of violence to students.  No school reported more than 3 incidences of violence to other students for the year reviewed, In the middle schools, by far the highest suspension/expulsion rate came from violence of students-to-students, but there is an extreme variance of reported acts of violence. 

 

         The range of the suspensions at middle schools varies from 0 to 355, with 66 reported incidences as the median. For example, O’Callahan, Corteney, and Johnson Middle Schools have significantly higher violence incidences when compared to the other middle schools.  The reported incidences of violence to other students, in the high schools, ranged from 0-121; the median was 65.  Mojave, Silverado, and Clark reported 121, 111, and 109, respectively.  Several schools showed high increases when comparing the 1997-98 data to the 1998-99 report.  Violence toward staff was reported in single digits consistent with last year’s report.  Drug possession incidents in middle schools ranged from 0-12, with most of the schools reporting 0 incidents.  Drug and alcohol possession, at both middle and high school levels, ranged from 0-11, with 2-3 incidences being more indicative of the number reported in the individual schools.

 

State mandated testing results

 

         State mandated testing results were reported for the TerraNova, Writing Proficiency, and High School Proficiency by individual schools and the district level.  The results reported here are from the Clark County School District report and the State Data Tables.  There was total consistency in both reports.

 

State Mandated Test Results:  TerraNova: Fourth Grade

 

Terra Nova Results

4th Grade

 

 

SUBJECT

 

%

BOTTOM QUARTER

%

TOP

QUARTER

 

AVERAGE PERCENTILE

RANK

 

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

Reading

25

21

25.5

19

16

18.3

48

48

48

Language

21

22

21.0

31

27

30.7

56

53

57

Math

21

20

18.0

26

29

32.0

54

56

59

Science

27

18

27.9

18

17

16.6

46

50

45

 

         While the TerraNova results for the fourth grade in the Clark County School District have been relatively stable over the past three years, there is a wide range of individual school results.  Of great concern are the results of both Fitzgerald and Madison schools.  Both schools have been designated “In Need of Improvement “ for the past three years.  In the cases of both Fitzgerald and Madison, average percentile scores have changed from 1997 to 1999 as follows: 

 

                  Fitzgerald                                                          Madison    

         Reading          17 to 26                                      Reading          23 to 19           

         Language        18 to 22                                      Language        23 to 17

         Mathematics   17 to 32                                    Mathematics   24 to 31            Science           13 to 19                                      Science           13 to 14

 

         An even more informative statistic is the relative percent of students who are in the bottom quarter of the norming populationall taking the test:

 

 

 

 

        Fitzgerald                                          Madison                   

Reading          66 to 54                             Reading          60 to 62           

Language        62 to 55                             Language        58 to 57

Mathematics   68 to 41                             Mathematics   58 to 46           

Science           81 to 67                             Science           73 to 70

 

         While progress has been made in improving student scores, this is noted as a continuing concern, particularly in light of significant state remediation funds and intervention by the State Department of Education targeted at these two schools.  The district tested at least 91.4% of eligible students at every school with many schools testing 100%.  Of note is the fact that Odyssey Charter School tested only 77.5% of eligible fourth graders.

 

State Mandated Test Results:  TerraNova: Eighth Grade

 

Terra Nova Results

8th Grade

 

 

SUBJECT

 

%

BOTTOM QUARTER

%

TOP

QUARTER

 

AVERAGE PERCENTILE

RANK

 

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

Reading

25

22

27.1

24

24

23.5

50

52

49

Language

25

25

25.8

23

23

23.7

50

49

50

Math

29

26

26.9

23

24

23.8

47

48

48

Science

29

19

29.8

17

16

17.4

44

49

44

 

         For 1999-2000, the percent of eligible eighth graders completing the TerraNova tests is reported as 98.3 % in the district table. 

 

         There were three middle schools designated as “In Need of Improvement”

 

         John C. Freemont Middle School                       

         Roy W. Martin Middle School

         Von Tobel Middle School

 

         There were several other middle schools where at least 40% of the students taking the exam scored in the bottom quarter in one or more testing areas.  A few of these same schools just missed being recognized for “In Need of Improvement” by a few percentile points in the fourth area.  These schools should be well aware that without intervention, they could slip in to this category quite easily.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

State Mandated Test Results:  TerraNova: Tenth Grade

 

Terra Nova Results

10th Grade

 

 

SUBJECT

 

%

BOTTOM QUARTER

%

TOP

QUARTER

 

AVERAGE PERCENTILE

RANK

 

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

Reading

22

27

25.7

27

25

24.5

55

50

51

Language

19

18

22.3

27

26

26.4

54

55

53

Math

24

26

25.5

26

26

28.8

52

51

53

Science

21

12

25.4

26

22

25.2

53

56

50

 

         The percent of eligible tenth graders completing the TerraNova test is reported as 95.2% in the district table.

 

         Mojave High School was identified as “In Need of Improvement”.  Desert Pines High School and Keystone Charter had at least 40% students scoring in the bottom quarter in 3 of the 4 subject 4 areas.  Again, this result should serve as a caution to encourage these schools to initiate programs that will assist in raising student performance.

 

State Mandated Test Results: Writing Exam

 

Writing Examination

4th and 8th Grade

 

MEASURED TRAIT

 

PERCENT PROFICIENT

 

4TH GRADE

8TH GRADE

 

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

Ideas

NA

60.7

51.4

62.1

74.4

77.1

Organization

NA

53.9

48.0

61.2

70.5

74.2

Voice

NA

56.4

46.4

58.4

70.9

72.1

Conventions

NA

57.3

51.8

68.1

65.1

71.6

 

         Scores on the fourth grade Writing Examination were down from the previous year although they closely paralleled the statewide average.  The percent of eligible eighth graders completing the Writing Proficiency Examination was reported as 95.6% in the district report.  As the tables illustrate the district continues to demonstrate improvement on the 8th grade exam and is just below the statewide average in all areas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

State Mandated Test Results:  High School Proficiency Exam

 

High School Proficiency Examination

PERCENT PASSING

%

DENIED DIPLOMA

READING

MATH

WRITING

 

96-97

97-98

98-99

96-97

97-98

98-99

96-97

97-98

98-99

96-97

97-98

98-99

 

96.8

 

96.7

 

96.1

 

97.4

 

96.8

 

91.8

 

97.8

 

97.3

 

97.2

 

NA

 

NA

 

5.6

 

         Reading and writing scores changed little from 1998 to 1999. Math, however, showed a significant decline where only 91.8% passed this portion of the proficiency examination compared to 96.8% in 1998.  The district reported a 5.611% proficiency test failure.  This percentage reflects June seniors who were credit sufficient but did not receive a diploma because they did not pass one or more portions of the exam.

 

ACT/SAT Results

 

ACT Results

 

% SENIORS TAKING ACT

ACT COMPOSITE SCORE

1996-97

1997-98

1998-99

1996-97

1997-98

1998-99

 

25.9

 

23.7

 

22.4

 

21.2

 

21.4

 

21.4

 

SAT Results

 

% SENIORS TAKING SAT

SAT

VERBAL AVERAGE

SAT

MATH AVERAGE

96-97

97-98

98-99

96-97

97-98

98-99

96-97

97-98

98-99

 

23.6

 

23.2

 

23.3

 

502

 

504

 

506

 

512

 

513

 

517

 

         The average performance on the ACT exam was 21.4 for 1998-1999 for the 22.4% of eligible students district-wide taking this exam.  The average score was the same as the previous year.  Twenty-three percent of the seniors took the SAT with a verbal average of 506 and a math average of 517.  This was a two-point increase in verbal and a four-point increase in math compared to seniors the previous year.  The national average for the ACT is 21 and the SAT national averages are 505 for verbal and 5112 for math in 1998-1999.

Technology/Computers

 

         The percent of classrooms with Internet access increased from 11% to 46%; computer labs with Internet access increased from 33% to 51%; and libraries with Internet access increased from 31% to 50%.  Overall, the computer-to-student ratio improved from 1:17 to 1:9 in the 1998-99 school year.  The range for individual schools was from 3 to 29 students per computer.

 

 

 

 

Teacher Preparation/Experience

 

         Forty-seven percent of the teachers have a bachelor’s degree and 52% have master’s degrees, with 1% having a doctoral degree.  The district showed 14% new teachers each year (1997-1998 and 1998-1999).  Twenty-seven percent have 1-3 years experience, 16% have 4-6 years experience, 15% have 7-9 years experience, and 28% have 10 or more years experience.  Ninety-eight percent are teaching within their area of licensure.

Remedial College Courses (UCCSN Class Enrollments)

 

         The high schools had 12% of their recent graduates enrolled in remedial collegeclasses. The percentage varies from school to school with a 0% to 18% variance as reported in the district report.

Supplemental Assessments

 

         The district uses the TerraNova in grade 6 to determine levels of achievement and to assist in identifying students with special needs.  It administers the Test of Cognitive Skills (TCS/2), and uses these results with the achievement test results to determine areas of strengths and weaknesses for individual students, schools and the entire district. In addition the district uses the Curriculum-Based Assessment Program  (their own criterion referenced tests) for assessment/diagnostic purposes.

 

Special and Highlighted Programs (K-12)

 

         Several demographic indicators increased with the overall enrollment increase.  The percentage of K-8 children qualifying for free lunch and reduced lunch was up from the previous year, 38% to 39%.  Participation in the English Language Learners Program increased from 10% to 12% in 1998-99 and the percentage of K-8 students qualifying for Title I services jumped from 9% to 14%.  This increase also reflects a change in Title I service recipients from selected individuals to school-wide programs.

 

Special and Highlighted Programs (Elementary)

 

         Clark County School District reports 0% participation in migrant education in the elementary schools except for 2% in the Virgin Valley Elementary School.  Special education participation ranges from 57% to 29%, consistent with numbers from last year.  English as a Second Language participates may be varied from school to school.  Herron had 61% while Martha King ES reported 0%.  Elementary students participated fully in music, art, physical education and computer education.

 

Special and Highlighted Programs (Secondary)

 

         Clark County School District reports 0% participation in migrant education in middle and high schools.  Special education, in the middle schools, ranges from 8% to 20%, consistent with numbers from last year.  The high schools range from 2% to 20% for special education placements.  The results are very similar to the results reported in the previous year.  English as a Second Language programs for middle and high students show similar numbers as reported in the previous year.  Middle schools show a range of 0% to 45%, with several schools reporting a 5% increase and high schools with a range of 0% to 21%.  The percentage of middle school students in gifted programs remains consistent with last year’s report.  The range is from 0% to 15%, with slight increases and decreases from a few individual schools.  High schools do not report student numbers for gifted programs, however they do report a range of 0% to 17% participation in advanced placement classes among the high schools, again consistent with percentages reported last year.  Music and art had participation percentages that varied from 0% to 72% in secondary schools, consistent with percentages reported last year.  Occupational education ranges from 25% to 100% participation and Athletics participation ranges from 1221% to 72%.  The middle schools report a very small percent (0% to 64%) participation in athletics.

Expenditures

 

         The average per-pupil expenditure in 1998-1999 was reported as $3,269 for instruction, $624 for administration, $521 for building operations, $301 for staff support, and $455 for student support.  Total per-pupil expenditure is $5,170.  This is an increase of $272 over previous year, with a $203 increase in per-pupil instructional costs over the previous year.

 

Parent Involvement

 

         The percentage of parents participating in parent-teacher conferences increased from 91% to 92% at the K-5 level; however participation dropped   at the secondary level from 61% to 60%, with an overall district-wide parent participation at 77%, up 1% from the previous year.

 

2.            Areas the School Districts’ Part III Report identified as examples of exemplary achievement at the school site and/or areas of improvement in outcomes from those reported in the previous year and evidence that the areas were exemplary or improved.

 

         The Advanced Technology Academy was identified as an “exemplary” school and the Las Vegas Academy as a “high achieving” school.  These two high schools have high attendance rates, high-test scores, high parent participation, and low student/computer ratios.   The district’s 8th graders continue to improve their scores in the eighth grade writing exam. The district’s seniors continue to score above the national norm on the ACT and SAT.  The dropout rate has declined for at least 2 years in a row, even though the district continues to grow at a high rate.  An additional achievement is the increase in internet access.

For each school site, areas of exemplary achievement were listed.  The range of areas was diverse but most centered on academic achievement/improvement and attendance.  In every case data were provided to support the listing.  The Part III section of the Clark County School District’s report is thorough and concise and should be considered as a model for districts that are struggling with their own Part IIIs.

 

 

 

 

 

3.            Areas the School Districts’ Part III Report identified as in need of improvement at the school site(s) and evidence for any deficiencies addressed.   

 

         Most areas identified for need of improvement at each school centered on improving academic achievement.  Several schools identified and included plans for improving attendance, parental involvement and student behavior.

 

         Some of the middle schools that have high suspension/expulsion rates are not specific how they attack this problem.

 

         As was the case with Section 2, each school site listed areas of need and, in the case of lower performing schools the lists were extensive.  The range of areas was diverse but most centered on academic achievement/improvement.  In every case data were provided to support the listing.  Again, the Part III section of the Clark County School District’s report is thorough and concise and should be considered as a model for districts that are struggling with their own Part IIIs.

 

4.            Summary of the School Districts’ plan for improvement at the school site.

 

         Plans for improvement were in evidence for all schools.  All appeared to be on target given the data provided for each school.  While the sheer number of schools precludes anything except examples, the following are provided as such:  A number of academic enhancement programs were listed as being put into operation in the elementary schools section.  The three middle schools ( Fremont, Martin, Von Tobel) that have been designated as “In Need of Improvement” have specific site goals and programs in place to work on improving student performance by implementing the recommendations of the  Clark County School District Mathematics Audit Team and by incorporating the four writing traits in written exams; it is also obvious that these schools are attempting to get higher parent participation in the academic endeavors of the students.  The one high school (Mojave) designated as “In Need of Improvement” analyzed its test results and has implemented a plan to meet these deficiencies by providing outside resources and faculty development activities in addition to designing a plan to emphasize and support a safe, respectful school.

 

5.            Sources of information to be used in determining effectiveness of the plan for improvement. 

 

         In addition to the primary sources of information/data (TerraNova, writing exams, proficiency exams, and the Test of Cognitive Skills, Second Edition ) used in determining the effectiveness of the improvement programs, the district uses aptitude tests and district audit teams.

 

6.            Missing or incomplete data.

 

         No missing data were noted

 

 

 

7.            Recommendations of Panel members for improving analysis and use of accountability findings at the school level and, if applicable, at the district level. 

 

         There is a multitude of evidence of positive efforts to increase student achievement and to meet the state standards and there is evidence of some real success.  However, as mentioned last year, it may be appropriate to spend some significant time on developing programs and intervention that will assist in having more students scoring in the top quarter and simultaneously move students out of the bottom quarter.  Many of the sites are getting better at focusing goals on specific needs for improvement, however some are still vague on how they prioritize goals.

 

         In addition the reviewers offer the following recommendations:

 

That considerable improvement of achievement scores at the two elementary schools, Madison and Fitzgerald, be made a top priority of all agencies involved.  Progress is occurring but the scores are much too low over the three-year period examined.

 

         That Part I building reports be more user friendly by avoiding acronyms for tests and diagnostics that parents or other reader may find confusing.

 

1.     That the Part I building reports include mention of all areas that are needing attention (and improvement) and should explain that while all issues merit concern only a few can be actively addressed effectively at any one time.

 

  2.     That Part I building reports include a more detailed action plan for all listed goals.  (some are specific but many are not)

 

3.     That a glossary of acronyms be provided with the Part I reports.

 

                 The Clark County School District is commended for addressing each of the recommendations from last year’s review panel.


Douglas County School District   

Accountability Analysis

 

The Douglas School District Accountability Report for School year 1998‑1999 was in compliance with both the spirit and letter of the law.  It should be considered as a model for districts wishing to improve their report.  A few suggestions are offered for making for report more user friendly.

 

  A summary of the student performance and school characteristics deemed relevant to the evaluation of the district’s school performance based on data submitted to the State Board of Education and LeBEAPE in Part I school reports and Part II district-wide reports.  

 

Number of Pupils

         During the 1998-99 school year, enrollment was 7,322, an increase of 20 students or less than one half of one percent over the previous year.  Students attended seven elementary schools, three middle schools, and two high schools.

 

Student Attendance Rate

 

         The student attendance rate was 94%, which was slightly higher than the statewide rate (93.3%) and very close to the 93.9% rate for the previous year.

 

Teacher Attendance Rates

 

         The teacher attendance rate was 96%, an improvement of 2% over the previous year and was one percent higher than the statewide rate.

 

Dropout and Non-Promotion Rates

 

         The dropout rate in grades nine through twelve was 4.1% representing an improvement from the previous year's rate of 5.8% and well below the statewide rate of 7.8%.  Rates of non-promotion in the elementary grades (K-5) averaged about one half of one percent, and were only slightly higher in grades 6-8 where the average was  0.57%.  All rates were below the statewide rate except at the second grade, which equaled the statewide rate

 

Truancy Rate 

        

         Truancy was reported at 1%, unchanged from 1997-98.

 

Transiency Rate

        

         The transiency rate was 21%, an increase of 1% over the previous year.

 

Student/Teacher Ratio         

 

         The average teacher/student ratios in the elementary grades were 1:22 in kindergarten, 1:16 in first grade, 1:17 in second, 1:19 in third, 1:25 in fourth, 1:26 in fifth, and 1:25 in sixth grade.  Average class sizes at the secondary level (grades 7-12) were 20 students in English and social studies classes, and 19 in math and science classes.  Class size averages were all lower for high school grades than for the middle school grades.

 

Student/Counselor Ratio

 

         The report of counselor/student ratio for elementary schools ranged from 1:76 to 1:684.  The middle school ratios varied from 1:303 to 1:402, and the two high schools had ratios of 1:266 and 1:365.  The reported district-wide student/counselor ratio was 1:455.

 

Suspension/Expulsion Rate

 

         The district reported an increase in suspension/expulsions for violence to other students, and a decrease in such disciplinary actions for violence to staff.  There were 166 instances of suspensions or expulsions for violence to other students in 1998-99 as compared with 111 instances in 1997-98.  Disciplinary actions for violence toward staff fell from thirteen to eight during the same period.  Instances of suspensions or expulsions for possession of weapons were similar in the two years (18 in 1998-99 as compared with 17 in 1997-98).  Suspensions or expulsions for distribution of controlled substances fell from four to two, but such disciplinary actions for possession of a controlled substance rose from 12 to 22.  In contrast, such disciplinary actions for possession of alcohol fell from 18 to 10. 

 

State Mandated Test Results: TerraNova: Fourth Grade

 

Terra Nova Results

4th Grade

 

 

SUBJECT

 

%

BOTTOM QUARTER

 

%

TOP QUARTER

 

AVERAGE PERCENTILE RANK

 

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

Reading

16

12

20.3

29

23

25.7

59

58

55

Language

15

18

18.5

33

24

33.1

62

55

60

Math

9

12

21.2

32

30

22.3

63

60

52

Science

14

8

16.1

27

28

24.9

59

62

56

 

         In comparison with October of 1997 performance, slight declines were noted in reading, language, and science scores in October of 1999. The decline in mathematics was somewhat larger -- eleven percentile ranks.  Scores at all but one elementary school were  lower or the same in mathematics on the TerraNova.  Although performance at Zephyr Cove Elementary School approached levels that would have resulted in the high achievement designation, all elementary schools were in the adequate achievement level of accountability designations.  The percent of eligible fourth graders completing the TerraNova tests was reported as 99% in the district table.

 

 

 

 

 

 

State Mandated Test Results: TerraNova: Eighth Grade

 

Terra Nova Results

8th Grade

 

 

SUBJECT

 

%

BOTTOM QUARTER

%

TOP

QUARTER

 

AVERAGE PERCENTILE

RANK

 

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

Reading

11

15

13.2

33

32

33.2

64

60

63

Language

11

18

14.1

30

29

32.3

61

56

61

Math

11

12

12.6

39

39

37.9

67

64

65

Science

15

5

11.3

25

27

30.1

56

62

62

 

         Negligible change was noted for eighth grade TerraNova results except for science where a six percentile rank increase was recorded from 1997 to 1999.

 

         All middle schools were in the adequate achievement level of accountability designation.  The percent of eligible eighth graders completing the TerraNova tests was reported as 99% in the district table.

State Mandated Test Results: TerraNova: Tenth Grade

 

Terra Nova Results

10th Grade

 

SUBJECT

 

%

BOTTOM QUARTER

%

TOP

QUARTER

 

AVERAGE PERCENTILE

RANK

 

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

Reading

17

12

14.2

29

33

37.6

58

65

64

Language

20

8

11.4

27

31

31.5

54

63

62

Math

18

12

11.1

35

35

40.2

60

64

68

Science

20

3

14.6

33

35

40.6

57

68

66

 

            Performance for tenth graders demonstrated solid improvement in all subject areas from 1997 to 1999.  The average gain in reading was six percentile ranks, in language and math the gain was eight percentile ranks, and science showed a nine percentile rank improvement over the reported years.

 

            Both high schools were in the adequate achievement level of accountability designation. The percent of eligible tenth graders completing the TerraNova tests was reported as 99% in the district table.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

State Mandated Test Results: Writing Exam

 

Writing Examination

4th and 8th Grade

 

MEASURED TRAIT

 

PERCENT PROFICIENT

 

4TH GRADE

8TH GRADE

 

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

Ideas

NA

NR

62.8

77.0

80.1

88.6

Organization

NA

NR

55.5

78.0

77.2

86.7

Voice

NA

NR

52.4

74.0

78.0

85.5

Conventions

NA

NR

55.9

79.0

71.1

81.5

 

 

         Results for the fourth grade Writing Proficiency Examination were above state averages on all traits.  The eighth grade performances showed strong improvement over prior years and were well above state averages.  The percentages of eligible fourth and eighth graders completing the Writing Proficiency Examination were not reported at the district or school levels.

 

State Mandated Test Results: High School Proficiency Exam

PERCENT PASSING

%

DENIED DIPLOMA

READING 

MATH

WRITING

 

96-97

97-98

98-99

96-97

97-98

98-99

96-97

97-98

98-99

96-97

97-98

98-99

 

99.0

 

99.0

 

NR

 

100

 

99

 

NR

 

99

 

99

 

NR

 

NA

 

NA

 

0.2

 

         The 1998 passing rates were not reported at the district level and were obtained from the state data tables, which showed only 0.2 being denied a diploma.

 

ACT/SAT Results:

 

ACT Results

% SENIORS TAKING ACT

ACT COMPOSITE SCORE

 

 

1996-97

1997-98

1998-99

1996-97

1997-98

1998-99

 

 

41

 

31

 

33.3

 

22.0

 

22.1

 

22.3

 

 

 

SAT Results                               

 

% SENIORS TAKING SAT

SAT

VERBAL AVERAGE

SAT

MATH AVERAGE

 

 

96-97

97-98

98-99

96-97

97-98

98-99

96-97

97-98

98-99

 

 

32.0

 

35.9

 

27.0

 

516

 

514

 

526

 

516

 

515

 

526

 

        The average performance on the ACT exam was 22.3 for the 33.3% as compared to 31% the previous year.  This was higher than the national average of 21.  Twenty-seven percent of Douglas County seniors took the SAT with a verbal average of 526 and a math average of 526. These performances, also, were higher than the national SAT averages of 505 for verbal and 512 for math, though the percentage of students taking  this college entrance exam declined from the prior year.

 

Special Programs 

       

        At both the elementary and secondary schools, 11% of students participated in  special education programs and 4% in programming for English as a Second Language.  Free- and reduced-price meals were provided for 21% of students.    No students were involved in migrant education programs.  All elementary students took classes in art, music, physical education, and computer applications.  Three percent of elementary students were in the gifted and talented program. 

students were enrolled in advanced placement courses.   District-wide, 39% of secondary students had foreign language instruction, and 53% took occupational education courses.  A larger percentage of Whittell High students (46%) took foreign language classes than at Douglas High (32%); while more Douglas High students (46%) took occupational education classes than did Whittell High students (7%).  

 

Teachers

 

         Of teachers in Douglas County, 69% have bachelor’s degrees and 31% hold master’s degrees.  Fifty percent of teachers have ten or more years of experience.  Classes taught by teachers outside their areas of licensure included 4% of English and occupational education classes, 5% of mathematics classes, and 2% of social studies classes.

 

Technology /Computers

           Four of the seven elementary schools provided Internet access in either the library or a computer lab with no classroom access in the elementary schools. One of three middle schools provided access to the Internet both in a computer lab and in classrooms. The remaining two middle schools did not provide Internet access.  In contrast to the limited access in elementary and middle schools, both high schools provided Internet access in their libraries, computer labs, and classrooms.  The district wide ratio of students to computers was 8.5:1 with slightly lower rates for the high school students than for students in the earlier grades  an is lower than the statewide average.

 

Remedial College Courses (UCCSN Class Enrollments)

 

         The Douglas County  School District reported that 14% of their recent graduates enrolled in remedial courses.

 

Expenditures

 

         Average per-pupil expenditure was reported as $3,252 for instruction, $598 for administration, $708 for building operation, $383 for staff support, and $531 for student support.  Total per-pupil expenditure was $5,472.  This compares with $3,546 for instruction, $586 for administration, $684 for building operation, $225 for staff support, and $563 for student support.  Total per-pupil expenditure was $5,472 for the previous year.

 

         Information on revenues/resources was provided as follows: state, 42%; federal, 5.2%; local, 45.5%; and opening balances of 5.1%.  Amounts of funding for remedial education were reported with a total of $230,741.

 

Parent Involvement

        

         Parent participation rates in the fall conferences were 91 to 100% for the elementary schools and 39 to 71% for secondary schools, with a district average participation rate of 72%.

 

1.            Areas the School Districts’ Part III Report identified as examples of exemplary achievement at the school site and/or areas of improvement in outcomes from those reported in the previous year and evidence that the areas were exemplary or improved.

 

         Part III of the Douglas County reports provided dense tabular school level reports, which detailed the status of the district's accountability program. Listed in these tables were identified areas’ of exemplary achievement or improvement, evidence of the reported areas exemplary achievement or improvement, model programs, areas’ in need of improvement, evidence of the identified deficiencies, and school improvement plans to impact the identified need areas.  Most frequently mentioned were areas exemplary achievement on local, state, and national achievement measures.  Evidence to support the accomplishments was based on documented improvement in test performance and improvement on test performance over previous years. Also identified were improvements in interpersonal relations, disciplinary problems, and dropout rates.  Evidence to support these improvements was derived from reduced rates of disciplinary referrals, suspensions, and dropouts.

 

         Other areas of accomplishment included restructured scheduling, which resulted in greater student accessibility to an increased array of offerings including new remedial programs.  Additionally, an active and enhanced high school career-counseling program was credited with a high rate of application and acceptance in post-secondary education.

 

3.            Areas the School Districts’ Part III Report identified as in need of improvement at the school site(s) and evidence for any deficiencies addressed.

 

         The most frequently noted areas needing improvement at the elementary level were reading and language arts.  At the middle school level, reading and science achievement were recognized as in need of improvement. High schools reported needs in the areas of reading, math, and science achievement.  Evidence of the identified deficiencies was derived from Terra Nova scores, Nevada Writing Proficiency Examinations, High School Proficiency Examinations, and district testing programs.

 

 

 

 

4.            Summary of the School Districts’ plan for improvement at the school site.

 

         Detailed and appropriate programming and increased attention were listed for each area in need of improvement at the school level.

 

5.            Sources of information to be used in determining effectiveness of the plan for improvement. 

 

         Evidence to be used for determining the effectiveness of the plan for improvement included  TerraNova scores, Nevada Writing Proficiency Examinations, High School Proficiency Examinations, and district testing programs.

 

6.      Missing or incomplete data.

 

·           Check headings for special program report (the elementary levels show some K-12 headings and the secondary levels have the sameK-12, K-6).  It seemed there may be some confusion.

·        Report ratios as number of students to one teacher or counselor, i.e., 10:1 rather than 30:3.

·        Provide district level scores for TerraNova and other tests for prior years for at least two years.

·                    Provide percent of eligible students tested for State Writing Proficiency Examinations

·                    The percent passing the High School Proficiency Exam.

 

 

7.            Recommendations of Panel members for improving analysis and use of accountability findings at the school level and, if applicable, at the district level.

           

            The Part III section for Douglas County provided a clear and concise report on the fiscal and non-fiscal impact of accountability reporting to the public.  This report was followed by a dense and detailed tabular accounting of the implementation of the accountability program at each school site.  It was clear that there is central leadership and coordination in the implementation of the accountability program.

 

            As in previous reviews, the panel wishes to recognize Douglas County School District for the quality of its reporting.  What is far more important to recognize is the level of integration of accountability processes into its administrative operation and curricular/instructional planning of the district.  At one extreme, accountability reporting may be viewed by a school district as an obtrusive and onerous requirement that is put upon the district.  Douglas County’s response to the accountability stature is at the other extreme.  The standing District Accountability Committee and School Accountability Committees continue to provide a focus on the constructive aspects of the process.  The implementation of the accountability process and reporting by Douglas County continues to serve as a model for other districts.

                          

              The following are offered to improve the report in the future.

 

                     1.   Provide clearer headings for special program report, i.e., K-12, K-6, etc.   As presented, the headings may cause confusion.

                  2.Report ratios as number of students to one teacher or counselor, i.e., 10:1 rather than 30:3.

                     3.   Provide district level scores for TerraNova and other tests for prior years for at least two years.

Provide percent of eligible students tested for State Writing Proficiency Examinations


Elko County School District

Accountability Analysis

 

The balance of the Elko County School District’s report provided pertinent information in a well- organized tabular format.  Data concerning individual schools and district wide averages were provided where appropriate.  The report did not, however, include individual building reports.

 

1.            A summary of the student performance and school characteristics deemed relevant to the evaluation of the district’s school performance based on data submitted to the State Board of Education and LeBEAPE in Part I school reports and Part II district-wide reports.  

 

Number of Pupils

 

         The enrollment in the Elko County Schools declined 1.7% over the previous year to a level of 10,444 students according to the district report. 

 

Student Attendance Rate 

        

         The district-wide attendance rate improved by 1.2% for a rate of 94.1% for 1998-99.

 

Teacher Attendance Rate 

 

         The Elko School District’s teachers also improved in their attendance rate from 94.3% the previous year to 94.9% during 1998-1999.

 

Dropout and Non-Promotion Rates 

 

         The district dropout rate was 3.7% in all secondary schools.  A notable improvement was reported at Owyhee High School.  They reduced their dropout percentage from 12% in 1997-98 to 2% in 1998-99.

 

Percentages of students retained in a grade level, rather than being promoted to the next grade varied from 1.4% in fifth grade to 6.2% in seventh grade.  The only other grade levels with more than two percent retained were kindergarten, where 2.8% were retained; first grade where the rate was 5.9%; and eighth grade, where the non-promotion rate was 4.9%.

 

Truancy Rate 

 

         The truancy rate, expressed as a percentage students with ten-day unexcused absences, was minimal 0.9% in Elko County.

 

Transiency Rate  

 

         The district-wide transiency rate of 22% during 1998-99  represented a 3% decrease from the previous school year.

 

 

Student/Teacher Ratios

 

         The information reported did not reflect the implementation of the Elko County School District’s pilot class size reduction program in 1999-2000.  Elementary school average class sizes were quite stable with a range of 16-21 reported in kindergarten classes, 11-28 in first grade, 13-22 in second grade, and 13-25 in third grade.  Intermediate grade level sizes ranged from 25 to 28.  Secondary class size in English, math, science and social studies ranged from 14 to 28.

 

Student/Counselor Ratio

 

         The Elko County Schools reported a minimal drop in the counselor/student ratio from 460 the previous year to 454 during the 1998-99 school year, reflecting the slight enrollment decline of the district.   The actual number ranged from1:265 to 1:875.

 

Suspension/Expulsion rate  

 

         District-wide, suspensions or expulsions resulted from 268 cases of violence to students and 48 cases of possession of alcohol.  West Wendover Combined School reported the most instances of violence to other students with 73 incidents, and Elko High School had the most cases of alcohol possession with 19 incidents.  Other causes for suspension or expulsions were far less frequent.  The district rate for violence to students was up considerably from the previous year.

 

State Mandated Test Results: TerraNova: Fourth Grade.

 

Terra Nova Results

4th Grade

 

 

SUBJECT

 

%

BOTTOM QUARTER

%

TOP

QUARTER

 

AVERAGE PERCENTILE

RANK

 

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

Reading

30

18

21.4

16

17

18.0

44

50

50

Language

27

23

19.7

24

22

26.7

48

51

55

Math

34

28

27.7

12

17

17.7

40

44

44

Science

28

13

21.2

21

23

22.2

47

56

52

 

         District-wide, fourth grade scores on the TerraNova test for reading remained constant over the previous year at an average percentile rank of 50.  In the language test, fourth graders improved from an average percentile rank of 48 in 1997, to 51 in 1998, to 55 average percentile rank 1999.  While the math scores for fourth graders remained below the national average, they did show improvement over the 1997 testing of an average percentile rank of 40.  The average scores in1998 and 1999  were  at a the 44th  percentile.  District TerraNova science test performance was reported at the 47th percentile rank in 1997,  improved to the 56th in 1998, and dropped slightly the 52nd percentile in1999. 

 

 

         In 1997, more than 40% of fourth graders at Jackpot, Owyhee, Southside, and West Wendover elementary schools were in the bottom quarter of national norms on the TerraNova reading exam in 1997.  In 1998, scores improved so that only West Wendover  had more than 40% of its fourth graders in the bottom quarter on the TerraNova reading test.  In the fall of 1999, West Wendover’s reading scores improved to have 32% in the bottom quarter, but the percentages in the bottom quarter were 42% at Owyhee, and 38% at Southside.  In the area of language arts, fourth graders at Jackpot improved, reducing the percentage in the lowest quarter from 70% in 1997 to only 38% in 1999.   Thirty-two percent of West Wendover fourth graders’ language scores fell in the bottom quarter in 1999, an improvement over the previous two years.  On the fourth grade  TerraNova math test, high percentages of students scoring in the bottom quarter included 42% at Carlin, 53% at Owyhee, and 41% at Southside.   Fourth graders in 10 out of 11 elementary schools scored below the national average percentile rank; in contrast, math achievement at  Mountain View Elementary School was at the 62nd percentile.  On the TerraNova science test, 46% of Jackpot  fourth graders and 42% of those at Owyhee scored in the bottom quarter.

 

State Mandated Test Results: TerraNova:

 

Eighth Grade

Terra Nova Results

 

 

SUBJECT

 

%

BOTTOM QUARTER

%

TOP

QUARTER

 

AVERAGE PERCENTILE

RANK

 

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

 

Reading

29

20

25.0

23

24

23.7

46

53

49

 

Language

31

25

25.8

18

23

19.9

44

49

48

 

Math

33

25

29.1

16

25

16.1

42

51

43

 

Science

27

15

24.9

23

25

23.1

49

57

51

 

 

            The eighth grade TerraNova achievement tests showed relatively consistent results over a three-year period.  In 1997, the average percentile rank in reading was 46.  This improved to the 53rd percentile in 1998 and dipped to the 49th percentile in 1999.  District-wide eighth grade language test scores were an average percentile rank of 44 in 1997,  49 in 1998, and 48 in 1999.  The district-wide average math scores for eighth graders on the TerraNova fell from the 51st percentile in 1998 to the 43rd percentile in 1999.  Science scores for eighth graders averaged at the 49th  percentile in the 1997 testing, the 57th  in the 1998 testing, and the 51st percentile in 1999. 

 

         The eighth grade TerraNova reading results indicated that 41% of Owyhee students and 54% of West Wendover students scored in the bottom quarter.  In average percentile ranks for the seven eighth grade programs, only Owyhee showed higher scores in 1999, improving from the 36th percentile in 1998 to the 41st percentile in 1999.  The other six programs showed declines in average percentile rank between 1998 and 1999 on the reading test.   On the language test for eighth graders, Wendover High School had 54% of its students scoring in the bottom quarter, and only Elko Junior High improved on its average percentile ranking, moving from the 48th  in 1998 to the 50th in 1999.  Fifty-two percent of West Wendover eighth graders, 47% of those at Owyhee, 38% at Wells High, and 39% at Carlin High scored in the bottom quarter of the TerraNova eighth grade math test.  All seven of the eighth grade programs in the Elko district posted average percentile rank scores in mathematics that were below the national average.  On the TerraNova science test, 41% of eighth graders at Owyhee School and 57% of eighth graders at West Wendover were in the bottom quarter.

 

State Mandated Test Results: TerraNova:

Tenth Grade

Terra Nova Results

 

 

SUBJECT

 

%

BOTTOM QUARTER

%

TOP

QUARTER

 

AVERAGE PERCENTILE

RANK

 

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

Reading

25

23

32.6

26

26

23.0

53

53

46

Language

25

18

27.5

29

27

23.0

53

55

49

Math

27

25

33.2

24

24

23.4

50

51

46

Science

20

8

23.7

28

28

26.2

55

61

51

 

         The achievement of Elko County tenth graders was near national averages in each of the three years reported, with only modest variations.  District wide, tenth grade performance on the TerraNova reading test in 1999 was lower than it had been in the two previous years, dropping from the 53rd percentile in both 1997 and 1998 to the 46th percentile in 1999.  Tenth graders showed a similar modest decline in language achievement, falling from the 55th percentile in 1998 to an average percentile rank of 49th in 1999.  District-wide average tenth grade math scores were at the 50th percentile in 1997, the 51st percentile in 1998, and the 46th percentile in 1999.  Science scores for tenth graders were at the 55th percentile in the 1997 testing, rose to the 61st percentile in 1998, and dropped back to the 51st percentile in 1999. 

 

         By school, on the reading test, 54% of Jackpot High School tenth graders and 52% of those at West Wendover scored in the bottom quarter.  On the language test for tenth graders, there were no schools with 40 or more percent scoring in the bottom quarter.  The tenth grade math test results showed 48% of West Wendover students and 83% of Owyhee High students were in the bottom quarter.  Spring Creek High made notable gains in math from an average percentile rank of 59 in the 1998 testing to an average percentile rank of 67 for 1999.   Scores in tenth grade math also improved at Wells High School rising the 54th percentile in 1998 to the 68th percentile in 1999.  Tenth grade science test scores for Spring Creek High School were not reported.  Only West Wendover High School had more than 40% of its students score in the bottom quarter in science with 43%.

 

State Mandated Test Results: Writing Exam.

 

Writing Examination

MEASURED TRAIT

PERCENT PROFICIENT

 

 

4TH GRADE

8TH GRADE

 

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

Ideas

NA

NR

54.5

75.3

75.3

80.4

Organization

NA

NR

52.2

74.3

74.3

78.0

Voice

NA

NR

46.4

71.3

71.3

73.1

Conventions

NA

NR

51.8

66.3

66.3

75.8

         On the fourth grade writing examination, Elko students scored highest  in writing ideas at 54.5%.  Their lowest level of proficiency was in writing voice at 46.4%.  The eighth grade writing exam showed improvements in all four domains over the previous years.  Eighth graders scored highest  (80.4%) in writing ideas and the lowest area was 73.1% proficiency in writing voice.

 

State Mandated Test Results: High School Proficiency Exam.

 

PERCENT PASSING

 

% DENIED DIPLOMA

96-97

97-98

98-99

96-97

97-98

98-99

96-97

97-98

98-99

96-97

97-98

98-99

 

99.7

 

99.9

 

100

 

99.1

 

97.6

 

99.4

 

99.7

 

100

 

99.7

 

NA

 

NA

 

1.1

 

         High school seniors in the Elko district demonstrated  100% proficiency in reading, 99.4% in math, and 99.7% in writing.  Only 1.1% of seniors were denied a diploma due to examination failure.

 

ACT/SAT Results

ACT Results

 

% SENIORS TAKING SAT

ACT COMPOSITE SCORE

1996-97

1997-98

1998-99

1996-97

1997-98

1998-99

 

NR

 

52

 

50

 

21.9

 

18.7

 

21.3

 

SAT Results

 

% SENIORS TAKING SAT

SAT

VERBAL AVERAGE

SAT

MATH AVERAGE

96-97

97-98

98-99

96-97

97-98

98-99

96-97

97-98

98-99

 

NR

 

9.0

 

8.0

 

496

 

524

 

554

 

500

 

518

 

551

 

         The Elko School District had 50% of its seniors taking the ACT exam and scoring a composite average of 21.3.  That is an improvement over the previous year’s average of 18.7.  Only 8% of the seniors took the SAT exam where the verbal average improved from 524 to 554 and the math average improved from 518 to 551.

 

Special Programs

           

         In special programs, the Elko County School District has 9.4% participation in special education, 5.4% participation in English as a Second Language (ESL), 1.6% participation in gifted and talented, and 25% participation in the free- and reduced-price meal program.  All of the elementary age students participated in computer, art, music, and physical education programs.  Individual school rates of special education participation ranged from a high of 21% at Jackpot Combined School to a low of 6.4% at Spring Creek High School.  The highest concentration of ESL students was found at Southside Elementary with a participation rate of 20.2% and West Wendover Combined School with a concentration of 21%.   Some schools had higher rates of participation in the free- and reduced-price meal program:  Owyhee Combined School had 80% of its students eligible,  Jackpot Combined School had a 69% rate, and West Wendover Combined School, a 54% rate. 

 

         Secondary art programs had a 35.8% participation rate and secondary music programs a 25.3% participation rate district-wide.  Enrollment in foreign language classes included 27.6% of students  and occupational education had a 69.8% participation rate among secondary students.     Forty-one point six percent of secondary students participated in athletics.   The Elko County School District did not provide migrant education, after school care, advanced placement, or student parenting programs.

 

Teachers 

 

         Of Elko County teachers 75% had earned bachelor’s degrees and 25%, master’s degrees.  More than 99 percent of teachers were teaching within their areas of licensure.  Teachers with ten or more years of experience accounted for 45% of faculty and only 2% were new in 1998-99.

 

Technology/Computers 

 

         The district reported that 100% of students had Internet access in a school library or in a computer lab.  Fifty-nine percent of students had Internet access within classrooms and the average ratio of students to computers was 8.2:1, with a  range from 4:1 to 15:1 district-wide.  This ratio was significantly improved over the previous year.

 

Remedial College Courses (UCCSN Class Enrollments)

This information is non-applicable for the Esmeralda County School District.

The Elko County School District reported that 14.1% of their recent graduates enrolled in remedial courses.

 

 

Expenditures 

         District-wide per-pupil expenditures for the Elko School District were $6,159.  Of that amount, $4,883 was in the area of instructional expenses.  In 1998-99, the Elko School District received $434,646 for Title I remedial education funds and $150,000 for state remediation funds for low performing schools.  Other remediation funds received during the 1998-99 were $91,596.

 

Parental Involvement

 

         Parents or guardians participating in parent/teacher conferences, district-wide, increased from 66% in 1997-98 to 72% in 1998-99.

 

2.            Areas the School Districts’ Part III Report identified as examples of exemplary achievement at the school site and/or areas of improvement in outcomes from those reported in the previous year and evidence that the areas were exemplary or improved.

 

          Elko County School District continued to use a matrix system designed to specifically tie exemplary achievement or improvement at each school site to assessment data, and areas in need of improvement to evidence of deficiency and plans to impact those areas.  Exemplary areas and model programs ranged from increases in TerraNova test scores to such programs as kindergarten skills assessment, Early Prevention of School Failure program, Success For All Reading, school within a school program, Discovery Programs, intensive phonics, curriculum mapping, Signature Reading Series, Everyday Mathematics, and STEM program.  The broad range of successful program strategies is indeed varied.

 

3.         Areas the School Districts’ Part III Report identified as in need of improvement at the school site(s) and evidence for any deficiencies addressed.   

 

         Again the matrix format of the Elko County report provides specific detail for each individual school and areas in need of improvement.  Deficiencies noted for improvement are generally related to the TerraNova testing or other state mandated programs.

 

4.            Summary of the School Districts’ plan for improvement at the school site.

 

         District-wide, a system has been developed through a district developed criterion reference test to provide a better method of assessing academic progress for first graders.  This assessment was implemented successfully in the 1999-2000 year.  The district has continued efforts to improve the quality of instruction by providing inservice activities according to the needs of the teaching staff and administration.  Training was offered in 20 discrete areas for teachers during the school year.  Concern over writing proficiency tests has resulted in consistent teacher training in that area.  Teaching of phonics and social studies have also resulted in other inservice opportunities.  “Off grade” testing allows the district to determine both progress from the previous year and to pin point steps in the remediation process prior to the state mandated testing year.  Individual plans of improvement are provided by school in the structure matrix that reports specific site level progress.


 

5.      Sources of information to be used in determining effectiveness of the plan for improvement. 

 

         The instructional improvement plans in the Elko County School District are tied directly to TerraNova test scores and state mandated proficiency exams.  Locally constructed criterion reference exams are beginning to be used to augment the accountability process.  In the future, these district-wide efforts should generate significant instructional assessment information to facilitate the continued improvement of student achievement.

6.      Missing or incomplete data.

 

         None were found except but the copy of the district report had the results for Spring Creek High School 10th grade offset by one line.  This has the potential to be very misleading.       the

                                

7.       Recommendations of Panel members for improving analysis and use of accountability findings at the school level and, if applicable, at the district level. 

 

         The Elko School District demonstrates a consistent and varied effort at inservice training for their teachers.  They should be commended on their pilot class size reduction plan and the initiation of criterion reference exams within the district.  Their report illustrates how accountability findings directly support improvement projects throughout the district.  The only recommendation is:

 


1.                  That the district consider preparing individual building Part I accountability reports.  The district report had all required information but most districts produce a “stand alone report.”  School by school reports have been valuable in the past and provided a richness of information that was missed in this year’s submission.


Esmeralda County School District   
Accountability Analysis
 
The Esmeralda School District report contained most required items.  Several inconsistencies were found between the district report and the Statewide data tables.  Recommendations are made for improving the report in the future.

 


1.            A summary of the student performance and school characteristics deemed relevant to the evaluation of the district’s school performance based on data submitted to the State Board of Education and LeBEAPE in Part I school reports and Part II district-wide reports.  

 

Number of Pupils

         Students in Esmeralda County attended three elementary schools located at Goldfield, Silver Peak, and Dyer.  The state-supplied School Accountability Data Tables reported enrollments of 114 for both the 1997-98 and the 1998-99 school years, indicating no change in enrollment.  However, the district reported an enrollment of 105 students for 1998-99.  This number appears to be correct since the School Accountability Data Tables reported a student/counselor ratio of 105:1.  If the 105 number is correct, it represents an enrollment decline of about 8%.

 

Student Attendance Rate

 

         The student average daily attendance was 92.2%, which was down almost one percent from the previous year.

 

Teacher Attendance Rates

 

         Teacher attendance rate was the highest in the state – 97.2%. The attendance rate for the previous year was not reported.

 

Dropout / and Non-Promotion Rates

 

         A dropout rate is not applicable, because there are no secondary schools in Esmeralda County.  No students were reported as having been retained in a grade level.

 

Truancy Rate

 

         The truancy rate was reported as zero, consistent with the previous year.

 

Transiency Rate

 

         The rate of transiency was 36.5%, which is an increase of 8.5% over the prior year.

 

 

 

Student/Teacher Ratio(s)

 

         The average student-teacher ratios in the elementary grades were 10.5:1 in multi-grade classrooms. 

 

Student/Counselor Ratio

         The district had one counselor providing service to 105 students for a 1:105 ratio.

Suspension / Expulsion Rate

 

         The district reported two suspensions for violence to other students compared to one suspension for this violation the previous year.

 

State Mandated Test Results: TerraNova: Fourth Grade

 

Terra Nova Results

4th Grade

 

 

SUBJECT

 

%

BOTTOM QUARTER

%

TOP

QUARTER

 

AVERAGE PERCENTILE

RANK

 

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

Reading

57

33

30.8

0

0

0.0

24

29

35

Language

57

44

38.5

29

0

23.1

28

23

37

Math

29

56

46.2

0

22

0.0

33

33

24

Science

57

56

46.2

0

0

15.4

30

27

28

 

         It would be inappropriate to make comparison of TerraNova performances among years since the number of fourth grade students is so small.  High percentages of students in the bottom quarter for math and science indicated a need to be addressed.

 

         The percent of eligible fourth graders completing the Terra Nova CTBS tests was reported at 100%.  All thirteen fourth graders took the test.

 

State Mandated Test Results: TerraNova: Eight Grade

 

Terra Nova Results

8th Grade

 

 

SUBJECT

 

%

BOTTOM QUARTER

%

TOP

QUARTER

 

AVERAGE PERCENTILE

RANK

 

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

Reading

23

33

33.3

53

7

16.7

36

39

42

Language

30

27

33.3

56

7

33.3

43

37

55

Math

37

7

66.7

59

14

16.7

47

50

31

Science

25

13

33.3

52

13

0.0

39

47

40

         Test scores are not reported for classes with  fewer than 10 examinees.  Six of the seven eighth graders were tested (86%) in 1999.

 

State Mandated Test Results: TerraNova: Tenth Grade

 

         Not applicable, as tenth graders from the district are transported to Tonopah High School.

 

State Mandated Test Results:  Writing Exam

 

Writing Examination

4th and 8th Grade

MEASURED TRAIT

 
 
PERCENT PROFICIENT

 

 

4TH GRADE

 

8TH GRADE

 

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

Ideas

NA

NR

NR

64.0

69.0

NR

Organization

NA

NR

NR

36.0

38.0

NR

Voice

NA

NR

NR

43.0

46.0

NR

Conventions

NA

NR

NR

57.0

62.0

NR

 

         The percent of eligible eighth graders completing the Writing Proficiency Examination was not reported. 

 

State Mandated Test Results:  High School Proficiency Exam

 

         Not applicable.

 

ACT/SAT Results

 

         Not applicable.

 

Special Programs

 

         Special education programming was provided for 12.4% of students, and free-and reduced lunches for 29.5% of students.  No students attended classes in English as a Second Language.  All elementary students took classes in art, physical education, and computer applications.  No students had music classes or gifted/talented education programming.

 

Teachers

 

         Of ten teachers in Esmeralda County, nine (90%) have bachelor’s degrees and one (10%) holds the master’s degree.  Four teachers (40%) have ten or more years of experience.  In 1998-99, nine (90%) teachers were teaching totally within their areas of endorsement.

 

Technology/Computers

 

         Students did not have access to the Internet at the time the accountability report was prepared but plans to provide Internet access were in place.  All students had at least thirty minutes per week of access to computers for instructional support. No information on student to computer ratio was found in the Statewide Data Tables.

 

Remedial College Courses (UCCSN Class Enrollments)

 

         This information is non-applicable for the Esmeralda County School District.

 

Expenditures

 

         Average per-pupil expenditure was reported as $5,663 for instruction, $2,084 for administration, $1,925 for building operation, and $2,468 for student support.  This was a modest increase in all categories over the previous year.  Total per-pupil expenditure was  $12,140, which included the expenses involved with transporting approximately fifty secondary level students to Tonopah High School. Reported revenue sources were as follows: 50% local, 44% state, 14% opening balance, and 1% federal.  It was unclear why the sum was greater than  100%.

 

Parent Involvement

 

         Parent participation in parent-teacher conferences was 85.2% up 2.2% from the previous year.

 

2.            Areas the School Districts’ Part III Report identified as examples of exemplary achievement at the school site and/or areas of improvement in outcomes from those reported in the previous year and evidence that the areas were exemplary or improved.

 

         The Part III report listed teacher inservice programs as an area of achievement.  Teachers participated in inservice programs on computer applications, Accelerated Reading, Star Testing, Reading Recovery, and math education.    Also reported was "Students from Esmeralda receiving scholarships following graduation from Tonopah High School."

 


3.            Areas the School Districts’ Part III Report identified as in need of improvement at the school site(s) and evidence for any deficiencies addressed.   

 

"We wish for all students to be at the 50th percentile in all curriculum areas.


4.       Summary of the School Districts’ plan for improvement at the school site.

 

•     Implementation of the Accelerated Reading program.


               The Curriculum Computer Incorporated programs in reading and math will be implemented in the 2000/2001 school year.

 


5.            Sources of information to be used in determining effectiveness of the plan for improvement. 

 

         It may be inferred that Terra Nova scores and other accountability data will be used to assess progress in need areas.

 

6.      Missing or incomplete data.

            There were inconsistencies between the state- and district-reported enrollment figures.

                        There were inconsistencies between the state- and district-reported TerraNova results.

                        There was no information on computer/student ratios.

 

7.      Recommendations of Panel members for improving analysis and use of accountability findings at the school level and, if applicable, at the district level.

 

                        The following recommendations are made for improving in the future:

 


1.   Focus on improving parent participation.

 

         2.      Provide all required data.

 

   3.      Provide accurate test score data.

 

It is recognized that preparation of the accountability reports is difficult for such a small school district. While the reports demonstrate a sincere effort to comply, evidence of the perception of value for the process is weak.  The linking of accountability achievement data to curriculum planning and instructional programming needs attention.  The process and product of accountability reporting may be enhanced through utilization of out-of-district resources.           


Eureka County School District

Accountability Analysis

 

The Eureka County School District Report continues to improve over that presented in previous years.  All required information was found.  Several data errors were found and it is recommended that a clear linkage between accountability data and planning is established in future reports.

 


1.            A summary of the student performance and school characteristics deemed relevant to the evaluation of the district’s school performance based on data submitted to the State Board of Education and LeBEAPE in Part I school reports and Part II district-wide reports.  

 

Number of Students

 

         According to data presented in the State School Accountability Data Tables for the 1998-99 School Year, the Eureka County School District experienced a decline in enrollment to 358 students, 5.3% less than enrollment the previous year.  These students attended two elementary schools and one high school that served grades seven through twelve.

 

Student Attendance Rate

 

         The district-wide attendance rate remained steady at 95% in 1998-99.

 

Teacher Attendance Rate

 

         The average daily attendance of teachers was 96% in 1998-1999, an improvement of 3% from the year before.

 

Dropout and Non-Promotion Rates

 

         There were no dropouts in the district in 1998-99, a significant improvement from the previous year when ten percent of secondary students dropped out. The reported rate of non-promotion for kindergarten, first grade, and second grade was zero.  The retention rates reported for the grades three through six showed  that less than one percent of students were retained in grade. The report indicated that 0.5% of students were retained in fourth and sixth grades and 0.1% in the third grade.

 

Truancy Rate

 

         The 1998-1999 district truancy rate of 0.28% was down slightly from the year before.   

 

 

 

Transiency Rate

 

The 1998-1999 district transiency rate remained at 21%, the same as the previous year.

 

Student/Teacher Ratios

 

         Teacher/student ratios were low throughout the district during the 1998-1999 school year.  The ratio was 1:11 in kindergarten, 1:13 in first and third grade classrooms, 1:10 in second grade, 1:14 in fourth grade, 1:17 in fifth grade and 1:22 in sixth grade.  The average size of secondary English classes was 20 students.  Core science classes averaged 16.  In mathematics the average class size was 14, and in social studies the average was 19.  These class sizes, overall, were more balanced than in the previous year when the range was much wider.

 

Student/Counselor Ratios

 

         Counselor/student  ratios were slightly improved from the previous year, due to the reduced enrollments.  The ratios were 1:272 and 1:268 at the two elementary schools and 1:616 at the high school level.  One of the three guidance and counseling programs designed to improve mentoring, the Big Brother/Big Sister Program, had to be placed on hold due to the reduced availability of revenues caused by declining enrollments.  The other two counseling programs, Conflict Management Skill Training and the Natural Helper Program were continued.  Critical personal counseling was provided to those students most in need.

 

Suspension/Expulsion Rate

 

         In 1998-1999 the district reported six suspensions/expulsions due to violence to other students but no other suspensions or expulsions.  All six of these incidents were at Eureka High School.  The previous year saw three expulsions with one for violence to students, one for drug possession, and one for violence to staff.

 

State Mandated Test Results: TerraNova, Fourth Grade

 


Terra Nova Results

4th Grade

 

 

SUBJECT

 

%

BOTTOM QUARTER

%

TOP

QUARTER

 

AVERAGE PERCENTILE

RANK

 

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

Reading

15

17

16.7

23

25

16.7

53

62

54

Language

15

12

29.2

41

36

37.5

60

68

54

Math

20

8

17.4

12

33

17.4

45

64

52

Science

11

0

12.5

7

40

16.7

51

73

52

 

 

         The district reported that 100% of eligible fourth grade students completed the TerraNova tests.   When enrollments are very small, as they are in Eureka, year-to-year comparisons of average achievement may reflect more about the particular students in the classes than about the school or the teaching. For instance, while fourth grade scores were higher in 1998, the scores in 1997 and 1999 were very similar.   In 1999, the average reading scores were at the 54th percentile while both math and science scores were at the 52nd percentile. In reading, mathematics and language more Eureka County fourth graders scored in the top quarter than in the bottom quarter.  In language the proportion of students (38%) scoring in the top quarter was well above the national norms.

 

State Mandated Test Results: TerraNova, Eighth Grade

 

Terra Nova Results

8th Grade

 

 

SUBJECT

 

%

BOTTOM QUARTER

%

TOP

QUARTER

 

AVERAGE PERCENTILE

RANK

 

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

Reading

5

0

10.0

35

58

45.0

71

81

67

Language

5

5

5.0

40

53

60.0

76

80

73

Math

11

5

5.3

22

47

36.8

61

77

66

Science

0

0

20.0

47

40

30.0

69

75

58

 


         Eighth grade TerraNova test scores revealed that the average performance remained strong. The average achievement rankings ranged from the 58th percentile in science to the 73rd percentile in language.  The proportions of eighth grade students whose achievement placed them in the top quarter on national norms were 45% in reading, 37% in mathematics, 60% in language, and 30% in science.  This contrasted positively with proportions of students scoring in the bottom quarter –  10% in reading, 5% in mathematics, 5% in language, and 20% in science.  One hundred percent of the eligible students took the tests.  The caveat on year to year comparisons with small numbers made in the previous section are appropriate here as well 

 

State Mandated Test Results: TerraNova, Tenth Grade

 

Terra Nova Results

10th Grade

 

 

SUBJECT

 

%

BOTTOM QUARTER

%

TOP

QUARTER

 

AVERAGE PERCENTILE

RANK

 

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

Reading

14

5

0.0

36

53

46.4

67

78

80

Language

9

0

7.1

32

34

28.6

59

73

70

Math

23

14

7.1

18

19

35.7

49

59

68

Science

4

0

3.6

39

34

25.0

73

70

67

 

         Tenth grade TerraNova test results, based on 100% participation of eligible students, indicated achievement similar to or higher than that in the lower grade levels.  The following average percentile ranks were attained by Eureka County School District tenth graders in October, 1999: reading, 80th percentile; mathematics, 68th; language, 70th; and science 67th percentile.  The proportions of students scoring in the top quarter on national norms were 46% in reading, 29% in language, 36% in mathematics, and 25% in science.  The proportions of students scoring in the bottom quarter were 7% or less in all four areas.

 

State Mandated Tests:  Writing Examinations

 

Writing Examination

4th and 8th Grade

MEASURED TRAIT

 

 

PERCENT PROFICIENT

 

4TH GRADE

 

8TH GRADE

 

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

Ideas

NA

NR

52.0

63.3

75.0

92.0

Organization

NA

NR

64.0

62.6

70.0

88.0

Voice

NA

NR

56.0

59.8

80.0

81.0

Conventions

NA

NR

52.0

67.3

85.0

85.0

 

         Fourth Grade: On the fourth grade writing examination, which was administered for the first time in Eureka County School District in 1998-99, the percentages of students demonstrating proficiency were 52% in Ideas, 64% in Organization, 56% in Voice, and 52nd percent in Conventions.

 

         Eighth Grade: Results of the eighth grade writing examination in 1998-1999 reflected greater levels of proficiency than in the year before in two areas: Ideas with 92% of students proficient, and Organization with 88% proficiency.  Percentages of students proficient in Voice (81%) and in Conventions (85%) were comparable to performances the year before.

 

State Mandated Test Results: High School Proficiency Examination

 

High School Proficiency Examination

PERCENT PASSING

%

DENIED DIPLOMA

READING

MATH

WRITING

 

96-97

97-98

98-99

96-97

97-98

98-99

96-97

97-98

98-99

96-97

97-98

98-99

 

100

 

100

 

100

 

100

 

100

 

100

 

100

 

100

 

100

 

NA

 

NA

 

0.0

 

         At the twelfth grade level on the Nevada High School Proficiency Examination, 100% of Eureka County High School seniors passed in reading, writing, and mathematics.  Thus no students were denied graduation on the basis of this assessment.

 

 

ACT/SAT Results

 

ACT Results

 

% SENIORS TAKING ACT

ACT COMPOSITE SCORE

1996-97

1997-98

1998-99

1996-97

1997-98

1998-99

 

79

 

62

 

74

 

20.3

 

20.7

 

19.2

 

 

SAT Results

 

% SENIORS TAKING SAT

SAT

VERBAL AVERAGE

SAT

MATH AVERAGE

96-97

97-98

98-99

96-97

97-98

98-99

96-97

97-98

98-99

 

76

 

41

 

52

 

469

 

490

 

477

 

465

 

536

 

480

 

         The average score for the 74% of high school students taking the ACT in 1999 was 19.2, which was down slightly from the year before.  Fifty-two percent of graduating seniors took the SAT, with an average verbal score of 477 and an average mathematics score of 480, both slightly below the national average.  Eleven percent of Eureka County High School graduates enrolled in remedial UCCSN classes during the summer or fall of 1999.

 

Special Programs

 

         Participation in elementary special education programs included 23% of students.  The proportion of Eureka County elementary students who qualified for free- or reduced-price meals was 27% in 1998-99.  No students were enrolled in classes for English as a Second Language, migrant education, gifted and talented, or after school care programs.  Sixty-seven percent of elementary students received art instruction and 33% participated in music classes.  All elementary students took both computer education and physical education classes. 

 

         At the secondary level 18% of students were in special education programs.  Music classes enrolled 21% of the students and art classes, 34%.  Forty-seven percent of secondary students in Eureka County participated in athletics.  Seventy-nine percent of students were enrolled in occupational education courses.  No secondary students were involved in classes for English as a Second Language, student parenting,  migrant education, advanced placement, or gifted and talented programs.  The participation rate in foreign language courses was 21% during 1998-99, consistent with the prior year.    The list of high school course offerings shown in the high school report represented a wide variety of options, especially in the Vocational Agriculture and Agricultural Mechanics areas.  The range of extra-curricular activities offered was also broad for a relatively small rural school district.

 

 

Teachers

 

         The percentage of teachers holding master's degree rose from 10% in 1998 to 14% in 1999 while those with only bachelor's degrees (86%) decreased by 4%.  The highly-experienced teaching staff included 72% with ten or more years, 14% with four to six years, 8% with seven to nine years, the remaining 6% being new to the profession.  The proportion of the teachers who taught completely within their license and/or endorsement areas was 94% but none of the teachers of English, math, science, social studies or occupational education classes were assigned outside their license or endorsement areas.

 

Technology/Computers

 

         The Superintendent's section of the district report revealed that Eureka County town schools had access to the Internet via a T-1 digital line to the Nevada Schools Network (NSN) in Reno.  Student access for Eureka Elementary School and Eureka County High School Students was directly connected 24 hours a day, seven days per  week with a speed throughput of 1.44 MSs.  Cresent Valley Elementary School accessed the Internet through the NSN dial-up modem pool in Reno through 8 modems with a speed throughput of 28.8 MBs.  All access was provided within the school libraries and computer labs but not in the classrooms.  All elementary students had at least one half hour direct use of computers per week that was tied to instruction and curriculum.  Thus 100% of students district-wide had such access.  The number of instructional computers in use was 91 and the student-to-computer ratio was 4:1 in Eureka County elementary schools and 2.2:1 in Eureka County secondary schools.

 

Remedial College Courses (UCCSN Class Enrollments)

 

         The Eureka County School District reported that 11% of their recent graduates enrolled in remedial courses.

 

Expenditures

 

         The average per-pupil expenditure for instruction in Eureka County School District was $8,647.00.  Other per-pupil expenditures included $2,560 for administration, $149 for operations, $188 for staff support, and $1,042 for student support.  Expenditures in each category were considerably above state averages but well below those of the previous year.  The sources of revenues reported by percentages consisted of local funds (74.5%), federal funds (0.1%), and opening balances (25.5%).  No revenues were received from state funds.

 

Parent Involvement 

 

         Parent involvement, as reflected in the first scheduled parent/guardian/teacher conferences, was 87% at each of the elementary schools and 36% at the high school.  Other opportunities for parent involvement included fifth and sixth grade science and math parent afternoon (90% participation) at Crescent Valley Elementary School as well as a parent volunteer program and a Back-to-School Open House Night.  At Eureka Elementary School parents were surveyed as to their support for the school's mission and programs and a 28% return rate was attained.  High positive responses were noted on "my child's education" and "quality of education at Eureka Elementary School."  Need for improvement showed up relative to "communication between parents and teachers". 

 

         Parental involvement at the high school level included memberships on an Academic Review Committee and a Technology Committee as well as a Booster Club, which included 43 people. Four school newsletters were sent to parents during the year.  Eureka County High School also conducted a survey of parents and guardians.  The survey consisted of two questionnaires, each made up of several items with a five-point scale of possible responses and 5 being the most positive response on each.  The first survey asked what "most people" think about the school in 10 major areas.  Results, using the five-point scale, showed the most favorable ratings to be on security and maintenance (4.12), student activities (4.10), guidance (4.06), and student/peer relationships (4.00).  Less positive responses areas were parent/community/school relationships (3.40), administration (3.23), and student behavioral values (3.13).  The second survey asked parents to rate their own satisfaction with the school  Results showed the most positive responses in regard to teachers (3.80), school buildings (3.70) support services (3.68) and student discipline (3.51).  Less satisfaction was expressed with school administrators (3.10) and school information services (2.90).

 


2.            Areas the School Districts’ Part III Report identified as examples of exemplary achievement at the school site and/or areas of improvement in outcomes from those reported in the previous year and evidence that the areas were exemplary or improved.

 

         Every Eureka County High School senior passed the Nevada High School Proficiency Examination in all three areas.  In general students at the secondary level attained scores on achievement tests that compared favorably with students across the nation. 

 

         Average scores on the TerraNova tests at all three grade levels - fourth, eighth, and tenth -  were above the national averages.  On all four areas of the eighth and tenth grade tests and on the fourth grade language tests, more students scored in the top quarter than on the national norms. Also, district-wide, at all three grade levels, smaller proportions of students were in the bottom quarter than on national norms with only one exception, that of fourth grade language.

 

         Eureka County schools offered a safe environment for its students with a very low number of reported incidents of violence and/or possession of weapons or use of controlled substances or alcohol.

        

         The efforts made to involve parents within the district and at all school sites showed concern and sensitivity to their opinions and the desire to help parents be positive resources for improving the educational programs of the schools.

 

         The elimination of student dropouts at all levels of instruction throughout the school system was noted and celebrated.

           

3.            Areas the School Districts’ Part III Report identified as in need of improvement at the school site(s) and evidence for any deficiencies addressed.   

 

         Crescent Valley Elementary School identified a need for instruction and practice on test-taking skills and study skills.  In 1998-99 each student was evaluated relative to learning style and this information was disseminated to classroom teachers.  A need was recognized to provide professional development on how best to use this information to  benefit students.   The school also recognized a need to recruit parent involvement for a learning "partnership".

 

         Eureka Elementary School’s list of needs included developing and annually using a wide array of performance assessments, differentiated and specified at each grade level, and especially at the conclusion of the sixth grade. Another need identified was longitudinal analysis of data from standardized tests and other sources to assess the effectiveness of the curriculum and instructional programs and to more accurately identify needs. 

 

         Only two areas for improvement were cited in the high school report.  The first was to work more closely with the elementary schools to improve students’ basic core subject knowledge and performance levels.  The second was to involve the outside community more in the school community. 

 

4.            Summary of the School Districts’ plan for improvement at the school site.

 

         The Eureka Elementary Education Plan for Excellence (1998-2000) was included in Part III of the report.  It was in the process of being updated for the next three-year period.  For the first time in many years, the district had formulated school improvement plans for each of its three schools and included these in Part III  along with the 2000 District Impact Survey.  The Eureka Elementary School Plan included a vision for sixth grade student performance and means of assessing accomplishments, but did not detail how improvements were to be accomplished.  The plan for Crescent Valley Elementary School listed its intentions to assess and plan for improvement, but did not detail specific steps beyond referring students to Title I or special education services and use of diagnostic information in planning remedial efforts.

 

         The need to assist low achieving students as identified by their TerraNova scores in the fourth grade at both elementary schools was to be addressed with tutorial assistance, the use of Success Maker computer software and targeted student instruction. 

 

         Secondary achievement was be addressed by dividing classes to provide more individualized instruction, providing tutoring programs for students scoring in the lower quarter on all sections of the eighth grade TerraNova tests, and use of computer software to help identify instructional needs and plan remedial efforts.

 

5.            Sources of information to be used in determining effectiveness of the plan for improvement. 

 

         While school accountability data would continue to be the major source of information, the Eureka County schools were moving to supplement these data with local and individualized performance measures, additional test results and alternate measurement strategies.  This portion of the Part III report of the district also needed to be more pointed, clear, and explicit.

 

6.      Missing or incomplete data.

 

         There was a discrepancy between the data reported in the District Accountability Report and that in the School Accountability Data Tables for 1998-99 relative to the percentages of students scoring in the lowest quarter on the TerraNova tests at the fourth grade level.

 

         In reporting student retention figures, an apparent error was made either in

calculating the percentages for grade levels where students were held back or in recording these.  The percentages shown were in each of three cases less than 1%.  Taking into account the number of students at each of these grade levels, this would mean that less than one student was retained.

 

         The cover page of the District Accountability Report listed Neil G. Stevens as the Superintendent, though the State Department of Education and the Legislative Council Bureau indicated that Mr. Bob Aumaugher was the Superintendent when the 1998-99 report was submitted.  Some clarification was needed to assist citizens in knowing who to contact with questions or concerns about the district.

 


7.            Recommendations of Panel members for improving analysis and use of accountability findings at the school level and, if applicable, at the district level. 

 

         The Eureka County School District's Accountability Reports were clear and readable.  They showed improvement over the previous year and a conscientious intent to address all requirements.  The reports complied with state accountability guidelines in most instances.

 

Three recommendations are offered to encourage even further improvement.

 


1.            Work to ensure that data are correct and congruent with the Statewide Data Tables.

2.            Continue to work on providing clear linkages between accountability data and plans for improvement.

3.            Provide more explicit plans for improvement and to cite the sources of data to be used in determining the effectiveness of those plans.


Humboldt County

Accountability Analysis  

 

The Humboldt County School District report was informative and generally complete.  There were minor discrepancies in data and there was no information on high school proficiency exam success rate.  A caution is noted in the McDermitt 4th and 8th grade TerraNova scores where very low number of student tested can make year to year comparisons almost meaningless.

 

1.            A summary of the student performance and school characteristics deemed relevant to the evaluation of the district’s school performance based on data submitted to the State Board of Education and LeBEAPE in Part I school reports and Part II district-wide reports.  

 

Number of Pupils

 

         The Humboldt County School District served 4,288 students in 1998-1999, an increase of 30 students (0.7%) over the previous year.  Students attended eight school units with a variety of configurations, including four K-4 schools, a middle school for grades 5-6, a junior high school (7-8), a high school (9-12), a K-12 combined school, and a "rural remote" school which was actually six tiny one- to three-teacher schools.

 

Student Attendance Rate

 

         The student attendance rate for the 1998-99 school year was 94.3%, up almost 1% from 93.6% in the previous year.  The lowest attendance rate was at Humboldt County High School, where the attendance rate of 93% was a 2% improvement from the previous year.

 

Teacher Attendance Rate

 

         The teacher attendance rate for 1998-99 was 96%, a slight increase over the 94.8% reported for the previous year.

 

Dropout and Non-Promotion Rates

 

         The overall dropout rate for the district was reported at 2.9% for the 1998-1999 school year.  This continued a trend of lowering rates in this category; two years previously it was 6.2%, and in the last reported year it was 4%. 

 

         The highest rates of non-promotion in the district were at the seventh and eighth grade levels, where 2.2% of students were retained in grade level.  Except for first grade, where 2.1% were retained, non-promotion rates at all other levels were below 1%.

 

 

 

Truancy Rate

 

         The district-wide truancy rate of  2.9% was essentially the same as in the previous year.  Lowery High School, with a truancy rate of 11%, was the only school unit with any truancy reported.

 

Transiency Rate

 

         The district-wide transiency rate in 1998-99 was retorted as 30%, an increase from 22.9% in the previous year.  French Ford Middle School had the lowest rate (18%), and the highest rates were at Winnemucca Grammar School (35%) and Lowery High School (32%).

 

Student / Teacher Ratios

 

         Given the presence of a variety of school configurations and locations in the district, it was not surprising to find a number of instances where there were significant variations in teacher/student ratios.  Second grade, for example, showed a range from 1:13 to 1:19; fifth and sixth grades ranged from 1:14 to 1:25.  Similarly diverse data were found for high school core courses; science classes ranged from 9:1 to 1:27, and math classes from 1:7 to 1:21.  Compared to the previous year, the elementary grade ratios were similar while most second areas were lower in 1999.

 

Student / Counselor Ratio

 

         The student/counselor ratio for 1998-99 was 1:428, only slightly higher than the 1:426 ratio from the previous year.  This ratio was considerably better than the state average of 495:1 while the range was 1:147 to 1:639.

 

Suspension / Expulsion Rate

 

         The district reported 80 instances of students being suspended or expelled.  The majority of these actions (72.5%) were for student-to-student violence.  The rates were roughly comparable to those from the previous year.

 

State Mandated Test Results: TerraNova: Fourth Grade

 

Terra Nova Results

4th Grade

 

 

SUBJECT

 

%

BOTTOM QUARTER

 

%

TOP QUARTER

AVERAGE PERCENTILE

RANK

 

 

 

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

 

Reading

23

20

17.0

20

21

25.0

49

50

56

 

Language

20

28

14.9

21

17

31.9

48

46

61

 

Math

29

21

13.0

15

24

36.5

43

52

67

 

Science

22

13

14.7

23

26

32.6

52

58

62

         The district showed considerable growth on fourth grade scores in the three-year period from October of 1997 to October of 1999.  Percentages of students in the bottom quarter declined; percentages in the upper quarter increased; and average percentile ranks in each of the academic areas  increased by at least 13 points.  Average math scores rose from the 43rd  percentile to the 67th percentile.  McDermitt Elementary School scored consistency lowest in all categories but made major gains in all areas.  There was a very small number of students tested in McDermitt.  Over 99% of all eligible students were tested.

 

State Mandated Test Results: TerraNova: Eighth Grade


 

Terra Nova Results

8th Grade

 

SUBJECT

%

BOTTOM QUARTER

%

TOP QUARTER

AVERAGE PERCENTILE

RANK

 

 

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

Reading

20

20

23.2

24

22

25.4

55

50

52

Language

17

25

23.3

19

22

20.8

53

48

50

Math

22

27

32.9

21

18

18.9

49

45

43

Science

20

13

25.4

26

22

23.0

54

55

52

 

         District scores on the eighth grade TerraNova exam remained generally stable during in the three years covered by this report.  There was, however a slight downward trend in each academic area.  For example, average math scores fell from the 49th percentile in October 1997 to the 43rd percentile in October 1999; during the same period, average language scores dropped from the 53rd to the 50th percentile.  McDermitt students scored considerably lower than their counterparts in Winnemucca with at least 40% scoring in the bottom quarter in every area.  There was a very small number of students tested in McDermitt.  More than 95% of all eligible students were tested.

 

State Mandated Test Results: TerraNova:

 

Tenth Grade

Terra Nova Results

 

SUBJECT

%

BOTTOM QUARTER

%

TOP QUARTER

AVERAGE PERCENTILE

RANK

 

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

Reading

26

28

19.3

25

22

31.6

52

47

60

Language

32

22

18.9

21

18

23.9

44

48

54

Math

28

31

20.1

25

15

27.4

51

42

55

Science

19

9

14.0

30

22

37.5

55

56

64

 

         For the most part, the district showed consistent progress in tenth grade achievement  over the three-year period.  The percentage of students in the bottom quarter was reduced, and the percentage in the upper quarter was increased.  All average percentile ranks were higher than they were in the two previous years, reversing the slight downward trends shown in 1998.  Achievement in all four areas tested was above the 50th percentile.  Forty percent of  the students at McDermitt scored in the bottom quarter in Math and science.  Again, the small number of student tested caveat applies.  Over 97% of all eligible students were tested.

 

State Mandated Test Results: Writing Exam

 

Writing Examination

MEASURED TRAIT

PERCENT PROFICIENT

 

 

4TH GRADE

8TH GRADE

 

 

 

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

 

Ideas

NA

71.0

64.0

75.9

81.7

81.0

 

Organization

NA

62.0

64.0

71.9

74.9

81.0

 

Voice

NA

65.0

65.0

77.0

74.6

74.0

 

Conventions

NA

63.0

67.0

73.0

67.0

76.0

 

         Over 60% of the fourth grade students in Humboldt County demonstrated proficiency in the areas assessed by the writing exam, and 71% were proficient in expressing ideas.  At the eighth  grade level, proficiency rates ranged from 74% to 81%.  The district report indicated that these scores were comparable to those in previous years.

 

State Mandated Test Results: High School Proficiency Exam

 

High School Proficiency Examination

PERCENT PASSING

%

DENIED DIPLOMA

 

 

READING 

MATH

WRITING

 

 

96-97

97-98

98-99

96-97

97-98

98-99

96-97

97-98

98-99

96-97

97-98

98-99

 

 

95.6

 

99.3

 

97.0

 

97.6

 

99.0

 

96.0

 

97.1

 

99.5

 

99.0

 

NA

 

NA

 

NR

 

         Results on all areas of the high school proficiency examination showed a slight downward trend, though the 100% rate in 1997 would be difficult to maintain.  The district did not report the number or percentage of students denied diplomas because of test failure in the 1998-99 school year.

 

ACT / SAT Results

ACT Results

 

% SENIORS TAKING ACT

 

ACT COMPOSITE SCORE

 

 

1996-97

1997-98

1998-99

1996-97

1997-98

1998-99

 

 

84

 

46

 

55

 

20.4

 

18.0

 

21.5

 

SAT Result

 

% SENIORS TAKING ACT

SAT

VERBAL AVERAGE

SAT

MATH AVERAGE

 

 

96-97

97-98

98-99

96-97

97-98

98-99

96-97

97-98

98-99

 

 

61

 

36

 

29

 

499

 

427

 

505

 

487

 

405

 

502

 

         The data provided by the district showed percentages of students tested and the composite scores for students taking the ACT and SAT examinations for the most recent year only.  Since state data tables do not combine the scores from Lowery High School and the McDermitt Combined School, district-wide comparisons were not clear.  From the state tables it appeared that scores on the SAT remained stable at Lowery and increased at McDermitt; however, the declining percentages tested at the latter school may have created this apparent contrast.  A similar phenomenon may also have impacted the increased SAT scores at McDermitt.  Participation and results at Lowery High School were more stable during the three-year period.

 

Special Programs

 

         District-wide, in Humboldt County, 9.3% of students participated in special education, and 27% participate in free- and reduced-price meal programs; these figures were comparable with those from the previous years.  At the elementary level, 100% of students had instruction in art, music, physical education, and computers.  The percentage participating in occupational education at the secondary level ranged from 30% at McDermitt to 80% at Winnemucca Junior High.  Most data in the area of special programs were similar to those reported in previous years.

 

Teachers

 

         Data on teacher educational levels show that 96.9% of teachers were working within their license fields, a slight decrease from the previous year.  However, most teachers (82%) continued to be at only the bachelor's degree level.  Nearly half of the teaching staff (48%) had ten or more years of experience.

 

Technology / Computers

 

         The district has made a major investment in improving computer availability.  The number of computers in district libraries increased from 4 to 18.  The numbers of computers with Internet access in labs rose from 6 to 70 and in classrooms grew from 16 to 212.  The overall student/computer ratio in the district in 1998-99 was 7:1.

 

Remedial College Courses (UCCSN Class Enrollments)

 

         The Humboldt County School District did not report this number.

 

Expenditures

 

         For the 1998-99 school year, the Humboldt County Schools showed a per-pupil expenditure for instruction of $3,975, an increase over $3,699 expended in the previous year.  Similar increases were shown in other areas.  Administration costs of $602 and expenditures for staff support and student support were lower than the state averages for those categories.

 

Parent Involvement

 

         The district reported the percentage of parents attending the first conference as 79%.  At the elementary level attendance ranged from 57% at French Ford to 100% at the rural schools.  At the secondary level, the range was from 45% at Lowery High school to 75% at McDermitt.

 


2.            Areas the School Districts’ Part III Report identified as examples of exemplary achievement at the school site and/or areas of improvement in outcomes from those reported in the previous year and evidence that the areas were exemplary or improved.

 

         The district showed continued growth in fourth grade achievement as measured by TerraNova exams. Curriculum mapping efforts were established; programs such as Success For All, Reading Recovery, and Accelerated Reader were implemented; and a more stringent attendance policy was adopted.  Extensive staff development in technology was teamed with capital investment in that area, and significant progress was  documented.  The district's parental involvement data were impressive, and school reports indicated considerable outreach efforts, especially to minority parents.  The district established clear, measurable goals to be accomplished by June, 2001, and by June, 2003.

 

3.            Areas the School Districts’ Part III Report identified as in need of improvement at the school site(s) and evidence for any deficiencies addressed.    

 

         The district identified a need to continue with curriculum development and alignment, including the establishment of criterion-referenced testing in the key areas of reading and mathematics.  The district also explored the possibility of re-establishing a professional development center to increase training opportunities for staff.

 

4.     Summary of the School Districts’ plan for improvement at the school site.

 

   The Humboldt County School District developed both short-range and long-range goals for district improvement.  Most of them are specific and measurable, such as,  "increase the percentage of students enrolling in post-secondary education."  Other goals, such as "Establish a culture of achievement," are worthy but more difficult to assess.  Individual schools prepared detailed plans for improvement based on local data, including disaggregated test scores; plans were keyed appropriately to clearly specified activities.

 

5.            Sources of information to be used in determining effectiveness of the plan for improvement. 

 

         The district reports were based on scores on state-mandated examinations, attendance rates, fiscal data, etc.  This material was presented accurately and in clear, accessible formats.

 

   6.         Missing or incomplete data.

 

         There were some inconsistencies between state data and district data on the high school proficiency exam.  The percentage of non-passing students on the high school proficiency exam was not reported.  There was no information regarding the percent of recent high school graduate who were enrolled in remedial college classes.

 

7.            Recommendations of Panel members for improving analysis and use of accountability findings at the school level and, if applicable, at the district level. 

 


         1.   Some schools did an excellent job with disaggregated data, which both suggested areas in need of improvement and documented progress made in these areas.  It would be commendable if this were the standard for all schools.

 

         2.   Parent involvement at Numa Elementary and at Lowery High School declined in the year of this report.  Other district schools, which had quite high rates, may provide concrete suggestions for bringing these units into line with district norms.

 

         3.   The district should focus efforts to improve TerraNova achievement scores in the McDermitt  eighth grade.


Lander County School District

Accountability Analysis

 

The Lander County School District's 1998‑99 accountability report had several deficiencies compared to what is required and to those produced by other districts.  Building Part III reports were not found and there were a number on inconsistencies in the data when compared to the Statewide Data Tables.  A strong recommendation is made for use of data in planning. 

 


1.            A summary of the student performance and school characteristics deemed relevant to the evaluation of the district’s school performance based on data submitted to the State Board of Education and LeBEAPE in Part I school reports and Part II district-wide reports.  

 

         The Lander County School District’s 1998-99 accountability report had several deficiencies compared to what is required and to those produced by other districts.  Building Part III reports were not found and there were a number on inconsistencies in the data when compared to the Statewide Data Tables.  A strong recommendation is made for use of data in planning. 

 

Number of Pupils

 

         The Lander County schools enrolled 1,703 students, an 8.3% decrease from the previous year’s enrollment.

 

Student Attendance Rate 

 

         The attendance rate, district wide, increased from 94.1% to 94.4% over the previous year.

 

Teacher Attendance Rate 

 

         The rate of teacher attendance also made gains in the Lander County schools.  In 1997-98, the attendance rate was 92.8% and the 1998-99 rate was 94.6%.

 

Dropout and Non-Promotion Rates 

 

         District wide, the dropout rate in Lander County was down to 4.4% compared to 7.2% for the previous year.  The percentages of students retained in grade level ranged from zero in fifth grade to 10% in seventh grade. 

 

Transiency Rate 

 

         The transiency rate across all schools in Lander County dropped from 28% to 19% for the 1998-99 school year.

 

Student/Teacher Ratios 

 

         Average class sizes (student/teacher) reported at the elementary level were fairly stable in Lander County.  For first grade, 1 teacher to 17 students were reported; second grade ratio, 16:1; third grade, 21:1; fourth grade, the district’s highest ratio of 27:1; fifth grade, 25:1; and sixth grade 22:1.  The largest change was found in kindergarten, which declined from 23:1 to 19:1 from the previous year.  At the secondary level, student/teacher ratios were significantly below the state averages.  Average class sizes of 15 for English, 9 for math, 11 for science, and 15 for social studies were reported.

 

Student/Counselor Ratio

 

         Consistent with the decline in district enrollment, the counselor/student ratio was reduced from 619 students per counselor in 1997-98 to 568 students per counselor in the 1998-99 school year.  The highest ratio – 1:1630 – was at Pierce Elementary School.

 

 

Suspension/Expulsion rate

 

         The most frequently reported reason for suspension or expulsion of students was violence to other students.  While 44 cases were reported district-wide in 1997-98, the number was reduced to 22 for the 1998-99 school year.  Particularly noteworthy was that Battle Mountain Junior High School reduced the number of incidents of violence to students from 31 in the previous year to three during the current year.

 

State Mandated Test Results: TerraNova: Fourth Grade

 

Terra Nova Results

4th Grade

 

 

SUBJECT

 

%

BOTTOM QUARTER

%

TOP

QUARTER

 

AVERAGE PERCENTILE

RANK

 

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

Reading

22

17

24.2

21

22

15.8

50

54

48

Language

14

13

20.8

28

27

18.3

57

56

49

Math

14

20

24.4

17

17

9.2

53

49

42

Science

16

8

13.8

21

23

22.8

54

59

52

 

         Fourth grade Terra Nova scores for Lander County were reported only for LeMaire Elementary School.  Due to the small size of Austin Elementary School, they were not reported as a separate program.  In the area of reading, the average percentile rank declined from 54 in 1998 to 48 in the 1999 testing.  TerraNova scores in language declined in average percentile rank from 56 the previous year to the 49th percentile in 1999.  The average percentile rank for the fourth grade group also dropped in mathematics from 49 to 42 for the current year.  Finally, the fourth grade scores in the science tests decreased from an average percentile rank of 59 to 52.  It should be noted that there were inconsistencies of several average percentile ranks between the district’s accountability report and the state-wide published data tables.  Over 99% of eligible students were tested.

 

 

State Mandated Test Results: TerraNova: Eighth Grade

 

Terra Nova Results

8th Grade

 

 

SUBJECT

 

%

BOTTOM QUARTER

%

TOP

QUARTER

 

AVERAGE PERCENTILE

RANK

 

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

Reading

14

17

21.8

25

21

21.8

57

51

50

Language

9

17

11.9

26

27

28.7

62

56

57

Math

12

23

22.7

17

17

18.6

54

47

49

Science

21

9

24.5

22

15

22.4

49

54

52

 

         Average eighth grade TerraNova test scores in reading declined over the three-year period reported.  The average reading percentile ranks were 57 in 1997, 52 in 1998, and 50 in 1999.  The average language and math scores also declined, dropping from the 62nd percentile in 1997, to the 57th  percentile in 1999 in language and from the 55th percentile in 1997 to the 49th percentile in 1999.

 

         Science scores for eighth grade at Battle Mountain Junior High School increased slightly, from an average percentile rank of 49 in 1997 to the 52nd percentile in 1999.  

 

         As in the fourth grade reports, there were inconsistencies between the district’s accountability report scores and the state-wide published school accountability tables.  Over 94% of eligible students were tested.

 

State Mandated Test Results: TerraNova: Tenth Grade

 

Terra Nova Results

10th Grade

 

 

SUBJECT

 

%

BOTTOM QUARTER

%

TOP

QUARTER

 

AVERAGE PERCENTILE

RANK

 

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

Reading

17

13

12.9

26

27

22.6

55

60

57

Language

12

13

14.0

10

28

26.9

51

60

57

Math

12

19

24.0

23

30

26.0

58

57

53

Science

13

3

14.4

26

20

18.6

57

61

53

 

         The tenth grade reading scores at Battle Mountain High School on the TerraNova test continued to be above the national averages.  The average percentile rank in 1997 was 55, in 1998, 60, and in 1999, 57.  On the language test in tenth grade, the average percentile rank was 57, a four point drop from the previous year.  In mathematics, tenth graders’ average scores were at the 57th  percentile in 1997 but decreased to the 53rd percentile in 1999.  The science test scores dropped from the 56th percentile in 1997 to an average percentile rank of 53 in 1999.   Tenth grade scores reported by the district were also inconsistent with the state-wide data tables.  Over 96% of eligible students were tested.

 

State Mandated Test Results: Writing Exam

 

Writing Examination

4th and 8th Grade

MEASURED TRAIT

 

 

PERCENT PROFICIENT

 

 

4TH GRADE

 

8TH GRADE

 

97-98

98-99

99-00

97-98

98-99

99-00

Ideas

NA

NR

71.0

70.7

80.2

79.8

Organization

NA

NR

59.7

66.7

77.6

77.8

Voice

NA

NR

60.5

63.3

76.7

64.6

Conventions

NA

NR

64.5

69.3

72.4

75.8

 

         The percentage of fourth graders demonstrating proficiency on the state writing examination ranged from 71% in ideas to 59.7% in organization.   Eighth grade writing proficiency ranged from the 79.8% in ideas to 64.6% in voice.  Only one area, Voice, showed a significant change from the previous year dropping over 12 percentage points.

 

State Mandated Test Results: High School Proficiency Exam

 

High School Proficiency Examination

PERCENT PASSING

%

DENIED DIPLOMA

READING

MATH

WRITING

 

96-97

97-98

98-99

96-97

97-98

98-99

96-97

97-98

98-99

96-97

97-98

98-99

 

97.1

 

96.0

 

97.2

 

95.1

 

95.1

 

88.2

 

97.0

 

96.9

 

95.6

 

NA

 

NA

 

8.1

 

         On the high school proficiency examination, 97.2% of the students were successful in reading, an increase from last year’s 96% success rate.  Only 88.2%  passed mathematics, which is the lowest success rate, reported by any district in the state.  During the previous two years scores for math proficiency were at the 95% level.  Writing proficiency was at the 95.6% level in Lander County in 1998-1999.  Eight point one percent of the district’s students were denied a diploma for examination failure.  This is the highest failure rate reported in the state by any school district in 1998.

 

ACT/SAT Results 

 

ACT Results

 

% SENIORS TAKING ACT

ACT COMPOSITE SCORE

1996-97

1997-98

1998-99

1996-97

1997-98

1998-99

 

35

 

52

 

61

 

20.0

 

20.0

 

20.7

 

 

SAT Results

 

% SENIORS TAKING SAT

SAT

VERBAL AVERAGE

SAT

MATH AVERAGE

96-97

97-98

98-99

96-97

97-98

98-99

96-97

97-98

98-99

 

0

 

0

 

1

 

NA

 

NA

 

700

 

NA

 

NA

 

530

 

         While 61% of the graduating class took the ACT exam, only 1% took the SAT exam, which is, the lowest percentage reported on the state data table.  During the two prior years no students participated in the SAT exam.  The average ACT score for Lander County School district for 1998-1999 was 20.7.  The district report contained an apparent clerical error as 1937 was reported as the average ACT score.

 

Special Programs

 

         Most elementary students participated in music education in Lander County.  About half the students participated in art and physical education at Pierce Elementary School, which serves kindergarten through second grade.  Black Elementary and Austin Elementary Schools reported 100% participation in those areas.  The new LeMaire Elementary School did not offer an art program, but had 100% participation in physical education.  The only computer use reported at the elementary level, was 100% at Austin Elementary School.  At the secondary level music participation ranged from 25% to 29% across Lander County’s three programs.  Art class participation ranged from 29% at Austin High School to 100% participation at Battle Mountain Junior High School.  Participation in occupational education ranged from 48% to 59%.  Twenty-seven percent of the students at Battle Mountain High School participated in foreign language classes.  While 100% of Austin High School students participated in athletics, and 33% at Battle Mountain High School did so.  Participation in elementary special education ranged from 6% at Black Elementary School to 29% at Austin Elementary School with a district average of 9.3%.  Secondary school participation in special education was reported at 8.9%.  Free- or reduced-price meals were available for 23.7% of elementary students and 13.7% of secondary students, with the highest concentration of 30.7% at LeMaire Elementary School.  Enrollment in English as a Second Language programs included 2.6% participation at the elementary level and .3% participation at the secondary level.

 

Teachers

 

         Lander County School District reported that 86% of the teachers had bachelor’s degrees and 14% held master’s degrees.  While 95% of the teachers were teaching in their area of licensure, 18% of science classes are taught outside teachers’ areas of license.  Sixty-four percent of the teachers in Lander County had 10 or more years of experience,  which is the second highest level of teacher experience reported in the sta