On Monday, students in Clay County will once again be taking the Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress Plus exam (ISTEP+).
Due in part to the state moving the ISTEP+ administration to the spring, students will be tested for a second time this year. This is to ensure an up to date comparison can be made next year.
"We have looked at scores from both the fall ISTEP+ and the NWEA (Northwest Evaluation Association)," Van Buren Elementary Principal Gail Williams said. "Students are being split into different remediation groups during the course of the school day and we have had remediation available after school."
Students at Staunton Elementary are also receiving extra remediation in preparation for the test.
"Remediation sessions are usually 45 minutes a day and we have a certified teacher who works with small groups of students," Staunton Elementary Principal Cheryl Jordan said. "The teachers are making sure that information is being retained and seeing what the students need to work and improve on."
The test for students in grades third-eight will include English and Math with science added for fourth and six graders. Social studies will be in place of science for fifth-and seventh-grades.
Though remediation has been in place at all of the schools since classes resumed after Christmas break, snow days and illness have added to the stress of preparing students.
"The teachers are constantly having to play catch-up because there are always children out sick," Williams said. "There is always a group of five--seven students in each class who are behind and the teachers are working diligently to make sure everyone is prepared."
Both principals agree, students need a good nights sleep and breakfast before the exam but motivation is key for success.
"I have talked to students and explained the importance of the exam and why they take it," Jordan said.
Pass plus students at Staunton received recognition and special dog tags for their achievement on the fall exam, which teachers and staff hope will motivate them for the spring exam. Jordan hopes that everyone in the school receives a set after the spring exam.
"Students need to stay healthy," Williams said. "Parents should support their children, but don't let the child become stressed out about it. It is an important exam but they don't need to lose sleep over it, if anything they should be making sure they get it."
The test is being administered during two different time periods, the first beginning Monday and continuing to March 11 will consist of the writing portion.
The second time allotted will be April 27 through May 6, and will comprise the progress monitoring in a multiple-choice format.
Recent test results
The ISTEP+ results for the entire Clay Community School Corporation compared to the state average since the 2005-06 school year:
|Year||Clay Community||State Average|
|2005-06||69.5 percent||74.0 percent|
|2006-07||73.1 percent||73.7 percent|
|2007-08||71.9 percent||74.7 percent|
|2008-09||75.3 percent||75.0 percent|
|2005-06||67.9 percent||71.7 percent|
|2006-07||68.9 percent||71.4 percent|
|2007-08||69.6 percent||72.1 percent|
|2008-09||69.6 percent||72.1 percent|