New writing program helps boost test scores 2013.05.01

Written by David Green.

Good teachers, good intervention specialists and a good writing program.

Those three factors contributed to Morenci's success on the state MEAP test that led to the highest scores in the county on the fourth grade writing test. In addition, the school improved its writing scores from 25 percent for the 2011-12 school year to 60 percent in the 2012-13 school year.

The writing and grammar program WriteSteps was adopted by the school three years ago and principal Mary Fisher is pleased with the results.

After several years of low writing scores, the rise to 60 percent is remarkable, Fisher said, and WriteSteps gives teachers a different perspective for teaching writing.

Fisher says the lower level teachers have really embraced WriteSteps and are excited about what their kids are doing. She consistently hears “Can you believe this, look at what my student wrote!” and has noticed exceptional writing from students. 

Fisher’s one requirement prior to purchasing WriteSteps was to make sure her entire staff was on board and prepared to use the program. Her teachers found success through the support of professional development as well as the sufficient time given to them to implement WriteSteps into their classrooms.

“Who knows what will happen next year,” said Fisher, “but what I’m seeing coming out of second grade is exciting. Our second graders are writing like experts.” 

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