Third-grade reading results favorable in county

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Whatever they're doing, it is working.

Officials in school districts throughout Lawrence County have a good reason to be happy this week - results from the

third-grade reading proficiency test are in for many schools, and the results are positive.

Email newsletter signup

Ironton Superintendent Dean Nance said 83.1 percent of the third-graders at Kingsbury and Whitwell elementaries scored at or above the proficiency level by the second test administration in March. More than half of the students had passed the test at its first administration in October. The state average is 75.1 percent.

Nance said the results also show more Ironton students are scoring in the upper tiers of the test. By the time the March results were tallied,

28.6 percent of the students were rated "accelerated" readers, while 30.4 percent reached the top rung on the ladder; "advanced." This means one-third of the district's third-graders received the highest score possible on the test.

Nance said the staff at the two elementary schools

began this winter on a new intervention programs that allowed children who were lagging behind to get an extra after-school boost.

"We took the proactive step and implemented an after-school intervention program with a four-to-one student/teacher ratio. They met for an hour and a half each night,

three nights a week," Nance said. "We focused on those who didn't pass the test in October."

In the Chesapeake School District, the news was also positive. Superintendent Sam Hall said

90.5 percent of the third-graders scored at or above the proficient level,


percent reached the "accelerated" level and 45.3 scored at the "advanced" level, meaning that nearly half of all Chesapeake students achieved the highest score possible.

"We are very excited," Hall said. "We've done a lot of things ( to improve). The staff and the principal, Jack Finch, are really conscientious. They've done a lot of intervention with the students who were having problems. To score that well is great, and the nice thing is to have so many students scoring on the upside. I've felt all along that we were on the right track and now the results are in and I'm happy to know we are on the right track."

Third-graders in the Fairland School District also performed well on the reading test. Curriculum Coordinator Ken Ratliff said 90.6 percent of Fairland third-graders

scored at or above the proficient level.

Of those students, 30.2 were rated "accelerated and 41.7 percent were rated "advanced."

"It made us feel very good," Ratliff said. "We had a few kids that obviously need intervention, and we have those kids targeted and we have a plan formulated to get them brought up. We have a strong reading program on a day-to-day basis, and that's the bulk of what we do.


also diagnose students every year so we identify those

who need extra help. We've set up after school programs and provided small group instruction. It appears to be working."

Rock Hill Superintendent Lloyd Evans said the results show students in his district made tremendous gains as well. A total of 79.1 percent scored at or above the proficient level, 22.5 reached the next rung on the ladder and were rated "accelerated" and 35 percent were rated "advanced."

"I'm very pleased," Evans said. "I'm happy with the results. We've done a great deal of in-service and we started the CLIIP program. I think it's taken a combination of teachers working hard and being provided the tools they need to work with."

Dawson-Bryant Superintendent James Payne and Symmes Valley Superintendent Thomas Ben said they have not received the results from the third-grade proficiency testing at their schools yet. South Point Superintendent Ken Cook said he had not been informed if officials in his district had received their results yet, either.