Though middle schools generally saw some pretty big gains, seventh-graders overall saw somewhat significant drops in students passing ELA and both subjects, but only a slight decrease in math.
Silver Creek Middle/High School had the biggest impact on that, with its seventh-graders dropping 12.1 percentage points in ELA scores, 7 percentage points in math and 12 percentage points in students passing both.
Reed said there are some real difficulties at that school, including a higher percentage of English Language Learners headed there.
“The big thing is that our ELL population is really increasing rapidly,” Reed said. “It has actually pretty close to doubled in size at the Silver Creek campus just since I’ve been here, and I’ve been here for three years. We’re getting a lot of additional kids moving into the district and that’s becoming more and more of a challenge for us.”
A new benchmark
Last year, Henryville’s schools were exempted from taking ISTEP because of the tornado that mostly destroyed their school in March 2012. Reed said with a year out of the game, he wasn’t sure how those students would perform.
But overall, Henryville Elementary stayed fairly close to the scores it made in 2011, even if it dipped slightly. However, the junior/senior high school made some big gains without much backtracking.
Math scores overall improved by 12.2 percentage points at the junior/senior high and students passing both subjects jumped by just more than 10 percentage points. Eighth graders lost their footing in their ELA scores, but only by 2.5 percentage points from 2011.
Though the elementary school’s overall scores fell, it saw more improvement than loss. Most notably, fourth graders increased their math scores by just more than 6 percentage points.
Reed said with the loss of their school, suffering displacement and trying to get their regular lives back together, he’s happy with how Henryville students did this year.
“Thinking about everything those kids went through and their families, it’s a sign of recovery and coming back,” Reed said. “I’m pleased with it.”