There will be no cheering crowds, no trophies, no awards banquet but Aurelia elementary students achieved a first in the state distinction, according to Superintendent Tom Vint.
Vint presented biennium student achievement rankings in math and reading for 13 area school districts to the Aurelia School Board last week. These rankings compare the percentage of students proficient in reading and math for the combined fourth grade classes for the previous two years (now fifth and sixth graders) and the for the combine eighth grade classes for the previous two years (now ninth and tenth graders.)
Grades four, eight and 11 are benchmark years for testing, according to legislation aimed at improvement of student performance.
Vint said that Aurelia ranked top in all four categories - fourth and eighth grade reading and fourth and eighth grade math - among the 13 area schools and the first in the state in the category of fourth grade reading.
Elementary principal/guidance counselor Ann Sandine presented academic test results for the current year for grades two through 11 showing how the Aurelia students compared to student norms throughout Iowa. It was pointed out that the norms would be different in a national comparison since Iowa students on average do better than the national averages.
the norms through ninth grade are given as an average level achieved by the students in terms of years and months. Since the tests were taken in the second month of the year, an average result would be 2.2 for second grade, 3.2 for third grade, 4.2 for fourth grade, and so forth.
For 10th and 11th grade, the results were reported as a percentile rank with 50 percent being average.
Generally, the tests showed strong results but there were areas of concerns. One area was some 11th grade results which fell below 50 percent. It was noted that 11th graders in the past have done well and this particular class had done better in the lower grades in testing.
A class that did exceptionally well was the seventh grade which had as a composite score, a 9.2, indicating performance that is two years above their grade level.
Most classes had a higher than average performance in the math total, but of the three specific math test areas, the Aurelia students tended to do less than average in the area of computation.
Several classes also performed at less than average in spelling.
Sandine noted that an examination of specific needs in teaching will be addressed at a day-long inservice in February.