The Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) released test scores and performance ratings for Nebraska schools and districts in October, and for our district, it was great news. Arnold Public Schools received an overall “excellent” AQuESTT rating, with both the high school and elementary grades receiving “excellent” ratings, and the middle school receiving a “great” rating.
This was an improvement from the previous year, when the district received an overall rating of “great.” Possible ratings include: needs improvement, good, great or excellent.
The scores include data from students who took the NSCAS General and NSCAS Alternate Assessments last spring. The district’s test scores were high compared to the state average. In English Language Arts, the district was at 70% proficiency, compared to the state’s average Arnold Public Schools gets “excellent” rating from Nebraska Department of Education of 52%. In Mathematics, the district was at 73% proficiency, compared to the state’s 52%. Science scores were masked because the number of students taking the test was below the threshold of 10 or fewer. Proficiency means that students are “on track” or meeting the “College and Career Readiness Benchmark.
When looking at the data, the district outperforms similar peers across the state, especially in English Language Arts.
The Accountability for a Quality Education Today and Tomorrow (AQuESTT) rating includes not only testing data, but other factors as well, including: – Positive Partnerships, Relationships and Success – Transitions (such as moving from elementary to middle school and on to high school) – Educational Opportunity and Access – College, Career, and Civic Ready – Assessment – Educator Effectiveness
“I’m pretty excited about it,” said Principal Joel Morgan. “We like to see improvements each year and it shows that our staff really looks into this and knows our students. One area we always grade ourselves high on when filling out the form is the community connections. That is where we really excel and it puts us a little bit higher than others. Our big focus has been career readiness through the CAPABLE program, STEM (Sci ence, Technology, Engineering and Math) and manufacturing through School House Graphic Products. There is a high demand for jobs in those areas and it just gives our kids a hands-on opportunity for skills as far as career exploration. We have good communication with businesses through the internship programs and have an open door policy. If we have established those foundational skills and expand, we can focus on career exploration and those types of things when (the students) are older.”
Superintendent Mark Sievering said it speaks highly of everything that’s been going on at the school.
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