NCSD elementary schools lagging in English Language Arts

(Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — Based on 2018 Wyoming Test of Proficiency and Progress (WY-TOPP) scores and Natrona County School District strategic literacy goals, elementary schools in the district have some work to do.

“Writing across the system was an area of concern for Natrona,” Associate Superintendent Walt Wilcox said during a Monday, Sept. 9 NCSD Academic Steering Committee meeting. “”We have great work to do at the elementary level.”

Wilcox said that middle schools in the district did a better job of meeting strategic literacy goals. All middle schools had at least one grade level meeting such goals.

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37 of elementary schools, however, failed to meet such goals in all three WY-TOPP tested grade levels.

The percentage of schools meeting NCSD strategic literacy goals at each grade level are as follows:

  • Grade 3 – 42%
  • Grade 4 – 26%
  • Grade 5 – 42%
  • Grade 6 – 71%
  • Grade 7 – 57%
  • Grade 8 – 71%
  • Grade 9 – 75%
  • Grade 10 – 50%

Fourth grade scores have particularly struggled, not only in Natrona, but across the state, Wilcox added.

“The Teaching and Learning Department will conduct an analysis of the Grade 4 ELA curriculum to check for alignment with the WY-TOPP Blueprints,” the district says.

The following chart compares the percentage of students at each grade level who received proficient WY-TOPP scores last school year compared with 2017-2018:

NCSD

The committee also discussed Natrona’s WY-TOPP results compared with the rest of the state.

“In some cases we’re chasing the state,” Wilcox said, adding, however, that at some grade levels Natrona is ahead of the state.

This chart shows where NCSD stands at each grade level compared with the rest of Wyoming:

NCSD

The committee also looked at how each class of students have faired as they’ve moved from grade to grade. To do this, they look at how a cohort of students’ scores have changed as they move from one grade to the next.

The NCSD class of 2021 saw growth double that of the state. The classes of 2021, 2022 and 2024 saw growth rates greater than the rest of the state.

The district added that the 2023 cohort also saw growth, but at a rate lower than the rest of the state.

The following chart shows such comparisons:

NCSD