High school science, math scores improve

Parents and students of Milaca Public Schools were welcomed back after the long summer break Tuesday as the hallways filled once again. Kari Maneloff and her girls, Sarah (sixth grade), Kate (eighth grade and behind her mom) picked up a high school welcome packet from her son, Luke (10th grade), who was volunteering that day.

Parents and students of Milaca Public Schools were welcomed back after the long summer break Tuesday as the hallways filled once again. Kari Maneloff and her girls, Sarah (sixth grade), Kate (eighth grade and behind her mom) picked up a high school welcome packet from her son, Luke (10th grade), who was volunteering that day.

Milaca high school students saw improvements in their math and science scores on their 2013 Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments, while elementary school students saw improvements in science.

Results of the annual tests were released last Wednesday.

High school students saw a seven percent increase in their math proficiency, from 42.3 percent in 2012 to 49.3 percent in 2013.  In science, the same students saw a 1.2 percent increase, from 41.8 percent to 43.0. High school students saw their reading results plummet. In 2012 68.9 percent of Milaca High School students were proficient in reading. In 2013, just 45.7 percent were proficient.

That mirrors a state trend in declining reading numbers that have dipped because of a change to a much harder reading test.

Milaca’ Elementary reading scores also dropped. In 2012, 73.6 percent of students were deemed proficient in reading. Just 52.9 percent reached that benchmark following 2013 testing.

Milaca students as a whole  scored below the state average in all three categories: math, reading and science.

Both high school principal Damian Patnode and elementary school principal Steve Voshell were encouraged by the test scores because students showed that they are closing the gap between their scores and the state average.

“If we come to see that we’re not closing the gap, then we’ll have to change what we’re doing,” Patnode said. With that said, he believes the staffs of both schools are on target to assist students in bring up their test scores.

Voshell said he expects future improvement through use of curriculum and instructional strategies employed by his staff.

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