By Travis Smola
Schoolcraft schools have made significant progress in their M-STEP state assessment scores. The most recent results were highlighted by Middle School Principal Dave Powers at the September school board meeting.
“It’s been an amazing journey thus far and we’re still travelling,” Powers said.
Third grade math, fourth grade math and fourth grade English language arts have all seen scores improve to the point where Schoolcraft ranks third, third and fourth respectively for KRESA schools in the countywide scores. One significant item Power wanted to point out was fifth grade social studies: Schoolcraft ranked second. “That was some phenomenal growth,” Powers said.
The middle school is doing much better in math scores in particular. The sixth, seventh and eighth grades all rank No. 1 in scores among KRESA schools. The fifth grade in particular had some very high scores. “If you look at that, it’s stunning,” Powers aid. “There’s not even a close second.”
The gains in that area are of particular note because Power said it’s a huge improvement over just a few years ago where the current eighth graders ranked below the state average. “It wasn’t that long ago, if you’ll recall, that our math scores weren’t anything to write home about.” He said that class then made gigantic improvements unlike anything he’s seen anywhere else.
Powers credits new teaching strategies and creative scheduling that allows them to support struggling students better as big factors in the gains the middle school has made.
Schoolcraft’s SAT scores are also up significantly. The district was No. 1 for percentage of students who were considered college and career-ready with 52 percent of students meeting or exceeding this benchmark.
High school principal Ric Seager also chimed in on the results. He said this is something they are seeing across all three schools. He credited the staff for following through with extensive professional development and for helping get the students to take the tests seriously.
“They’ve done a lot of work to get us to this point,” Seager said. “We’ve also got our kids to a place where they buy in to this as well.”
The board praised the administrators and staff for their efforts. Trustee Michael Rochholz remembered how just a few years ago the results from the tests were bad news.
“Without that team effort, we don’t have these results,” Rochholz said.