Morenci administrators discuss MEAP results 2013.03.13

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

There’s more than one way to study results from the state’s MEAP tests, said Morenci secondary principal Kelli Campbell.

The tests are given to students in grades three through eight throughout the state and results can be compared to state averages. Additionally, scores are often compared to those obtained in other nearby districts.

A more valuable comparison for her is to look at what’s called cohort groups—comparing the scores of last year’s fourth grade class to their scores as fifth graders, for example, and then comparing them again as sixth grade students.

Following the progress of each individual class can show continuing improvement or stagnation.

“All of our cohorts improved in math and reading,” Campbell told school board members at the March 4 meeting.

Morenci mirrored the situation statewide in showing a weakness in the science portion of the test, and Morenci students also scored low in sixth and ninth grade social studies.

“Those scores are substantially lower than where we would like them to be,” she said.

Each year administrators prepare a detailed school improvement plan that’s partially based on MEAP test results. A variety of data sources are used in addition to the MEAP.

Morenci students were doing quite well in meeting state standards, said elementary school principal Mary Fisher, until the “cut score” standards were changed. Cut scores separate students into categories such as advanced, proficient and partially proficient.

When the change was made to meet a higher standard, the scores posted by many schools suddenly looked very weak.

The district is adjusting to the changes and scores are on their way up, she said.

RETIREMENTS—Retired teachers Pat Burnard (16 years with the district), Dennis Quist (34 years) and Liz Jarrell (36 years) were honored at the board meeting and presented with clocks.

DISTANT LEARNING—Morenci is part of a consortium seeking federal Title II-A funds that would provide teacher training for distance learning opportunities. Siena Heights University would be part of the project.

IMPROVEMENT FUNDS—$56,000 remains in leftover funds from the middle school building project. A public address system that would tie together the middle and high school buildings was listed as a high priority during a discussion at the committee level. 

Technology coordinator Hilda Jones mentioned the need for replacement of the main internet infrastructure and also the need for new computers for teachers.

Teachers are being asked to do much more via the internet, she said, but older computers often make that a challenge.

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    LATEST CRAZE—David Cortes (left) and Ty Kruse, along with Jerred Heselschwerdt (standing), consult their smartphones while engaging in the game of Pokémon Go. The virtual scavenger hunt comes to life when players are in the vicinity of gyms, such as Stair District Library, and PokéStops such as the fire station across the street. The boys had spent time Monday morning searching for Pokémon at Wakefield Park.
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    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
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    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
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    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
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    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
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    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
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    BEVY OF BALLS—Stair District Library Summer Reading Program VolunTeens, including Libby Rorick, back left and Ty Kruse, back right, threw a dozen inflatable soccer balls into the crowd during a reading of “Sergio Saves the Game.” The sports-themed program continues on Wednesdays through July 27.
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