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.” 

  • Girls.on.ride
    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
  • Front.softball
    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
  • Front.art.park
    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.
  • Front.train
    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
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • KayseInField
    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.
  • Front.soccer.balls
    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.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016