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Students Score Highest Ever on ISAT Tests

The ISAT scores have been returned to the Lake Pend Oreille School District and we are proud to report the overall scores are the highest they have been since students began ISAT testing in our district. We are extremely proud of our students, but also of our staff who have worked so hard throughout the school year. Parents who have supported their children by working alongside them on homework and setting aside time and a quiet place for homework also share in this success.

The district averages have improved in all subject areas. The following totals have been verified by the State Department of Education:

Reading scores rose from 82.1 proficient to 87.8 proficient.

Math scores rose from 77.1 proficient to 81.7 proficient.

Language usage scores rose from 67.6 proficient to 72.7 proficient.

There were many pockets of excellence and improvement throughout the district. Included among those were eighth grade reading, where 91.3 percent of the students met proficiency. This is a terrific score and parents of students at Clark Fork, Sandpoint Middle School, and LPO should be very proud.

The challenge for the district will be trying to further improve these scores. The No Child Left Behind Act demands that 100 percent of students reach proficiency in the years ahead. We will continue to work hard in this area.

Another strong point district wide was the math proficiency scores in fifth grade. Eighty-six percent of students district wide met the bar. Again, we are very proud of this effort.

Finally, at the critical third grade, the grade which many experts believe is the lighthouse for students’ future success in schooling, 86 percent of our students were proficient in both reading and math.

The above is not to imply that we are perfect. We still have a good deal of work to do in the areas of language usage and science. Science is tested in grades 5, 7, and 10 and our scores were 60 percent, 57 percent, and 68.4 percent. We know that we can improve in these areas and have a strategic plan in place to do so. Already this summer, 20 of our intermediate grade teachers have been working with University of Idaho professors in the ISLES grant to improve science education practices in grades 4 through 6. This project will train many more teachers over a three year period. All of this work is being funded by a state grant that we co-wrote with the University of Idaho and shows great promise.

Parents should have received individual ISAT scores during the last week of June. District staff mailed them directly to the address listed on the enrollment card. Please make sure to celebrate your child’s progress.

It has been a successful year in many ways. Not only are our test scores strong, but our music, drama, and art opportunities are flourishing in our schools. Our student athletes performed at a high level in local, regional, and state competitions. However, we do not want to engage in too much back slapping because we know that each year presents new challenges and a different set of learners. We will continue to work hard with your children to make improvements. As we like to say, “We are good school district intent on getting better.” Have a great summer!

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Author info

Dick Cvitanich Dick Cvitanich is the Superintendent of Schools for the Lake Pend Oreille School District. He has been an educator for 33 years, and became superintendent for LPOSD in 2006. He was educated at the University of Washington where he earned a BA in History and a Superintendent's Credential. He has been married to Diane for 32 years and they have raised three sons who "taught us as much as we taught them." "I have a passion for public education and the role it plays in our democracy. In my free time I read, ski ... come to think of it, I don't have that much free time."

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