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Kelliher School improves second consecutive year

For the second consecutive year, Kelliher School students have improved on math and reading test scores enabling the Kelliher School District to pull out of AYP.

"I'm really pleased with the results," said Superintendent Tim Lutz. "The improved test results this year, on top of last year's tremendous gains, have pulled our district out of the status of needing improvement."

Minnesota students in grades three-11 improved their scores in math and reading this spring and Kelliher students joined over 426,000 students who took the MCA-II exams.

Students in grades three-eight took exams in both subjects while students in grade 10 took the reading grad exam and 11th graders took the grad exam in ,athematics.

"Kelliher School students held their own with the rest of the state's students," said Kelliher School Assessment Coordinator John Carlson. "Our students rose to the occasion and exceeded the goals or index scores the state set for our school and district. Our staff, students and parents should be pleased."

While Carlson and Lutz are happy with the test results, they do not want to become complacent.

"At this point in time, we look good. But, we will need to maintain our focus so that next year and the year after, our students will continue to improve and keep meeting the ever-increasing index score goals that the state sets for us," Carlson said. "Although our scores were good enough to meet state standards, we know that we can still improve in our teaching and our learning."

Lutz agrees. "With the MCA-II tests being replaced by the more rigorous MCA-III exams and with the bar being raised every year, we cannot rest on our laurels. The results over the past two years give you some idea as to how well students respond when we raise expectations and hold them accountable for their learning."

As Kelliher School prepares for the next school year, staff members are hoping to continue many of the programs that have helped students achieve their high test gains.

A number of new programs were added last year including Reading Plus and READ 180, which will help students improve in vocabulary, word recognition and literal and inferential comprehension.

According to Carlson, "We hope to capitalize on these programs by developing Professional Learning Teams and improving our ability to differentiate instruction based upon ongoing and continual assessment of student progress on a weekly and monthly basis."

Kelliher School sent a number of staff members to the Model Schools Conference in Orlando, FL in June to learn about best practices in the delivery of classroom instruction and a number of other teaching and assessment strategies.

"We hope that those staff members will bring the level of knowledge and excitement to the rest of the staff this fall as school starts," Lutz said. "I know we'll have a great year and continue to provide a superb education to our students."