The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local Education

December 4, 2008

ISTEP: Lapel Elementary's teamwork works

LAPEL — Student Travis Hobbs wasn’t too surprised at his exemplary ISTEP scores.

The Lapel Elementary fifth-grader, who scored well above passing levels on all the test subjects, had always done well on the standardized tests before, so when he received his results Thursday afternoon at school, he was happy but not shocked.

“I was happy that I had passed, but I was just kind of expecting it,” he said.

Hobbs’ class at Lapel Elementary did the best of all grade levels there, with 81 percent of students passing both English and math portions of the test and 91 percent passing math. Other high scores were fourth-graders, of which 89 percent passed English, and sixth-graders, of which 94 percent passed math.

On overall passing grades, the school was split on progress over last year, with third-graders up from 70 percent to 73 percent, fifth-graders the same at 81 percent, fourth-graders down from 74 percent to 69 percent and sixth-graders down from 84 percent to 78 percent.

Sixth-grade teacher Cheryle Wallace said tutoring the students and helping them during nonteaching times helped her identify their needs and boost scores.

“In that way, we can help children beyond what they generally can achieve,” she said.

The success of a class really depends on all the teachers the students have had up until the test is taken, as they take the tests only three weeks into the new school year, third-grade teacher Betsy Beeman said.

“It’s the groundwork that has been laid before they come to me,” she said. “It’s really a reflection of all the hard work the previous teachers have done with them.”

This year, students also will take ISTEP tests in the spring.

“A reflection of my teaching will be the spring test, and hopefully their scores keep going up,” Beeman said.

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