Thursday, November 22, 2012

NeSA Results - The Success of CHS!

We’re very proud of the academic successes we are experiencing at Chadron High School. These results come with years of work addressing state standards, curriculum mapping, and incorporating reading and writing goals throughout the building. We truly believe that our academic success is contributed to the K-12 systematic approach that Chadron Public Schools has developed.

In regards to the four State Accountability tests taken by all juniors last spring, Chadron High School lead the panhandle and scored above the state average in every area. We appreciated the recognition from Governor Mike Heineman and the Commissioner of Education, Dr. Roger Breed, when they chose to visit our school on October 30th to applaud our efforts and ask for our insights that might be shared to assist other districts to become as successful. The visit was reassuring that our efforts have been worthwhile and are noted as a model for other schools.

Here’s a breakdown of the high school scores of the four NeSA tests last spring.

NeSA Reading: Ranked 4th out of 227 state districts (98 %tile)
NeSA Writing: Ranked 21st out of 226 state districts (95 %tile)
NeSA Math: Ranked 28th out of 227 state districts (88 %tile)
NeSA Science: Ranked 31st out of 227 state districts (86 %tile)

With the State now having three years of reading data, Governor Heineman noted that among C-1 schools, Chadron in one of only eight schools that have improved scores every year. Other areas highlighted by Governor were that Chadron High School ranked 2nd in math and 3rd in Science among other high schools our size.

A recent focus of attention are graduation rates. Graduation rates have only recently been calculated statewide using a four-year graduation cohort. Any student that begins their freshman year (in any school district) is tracked to ensure that they graduate in four years. State records now track students as they transfer from district to district in and out of the state of Nebraska. This is the second year that this graduation cohort data is tracked and used to calculate graduation rates as part of the Federal AYP program. As with many other districts, Chadron High School ranks below the state goal of 90% The biggest reason why schools (like CHS) are failing to meet this goal is that we did not track students prior to two years ago. We noticed in our data, as many as six errors of students that transferred out of our district three or four years ago, but were still recorded as enrolled with CHS and therefore still in our graduation cohort for last spring. We will soon see a more accurate graduation rate at or above the state average next year. Unfortunately, the lack of correcting these errors 3 and 4 years ago is reflected in our graduation rate this year. We look forward to the challenge of having a graduation rate above the state goal.

Since the public release of testing scores, we have been asked several times what we do to have such high test results. There is no simple answer to this question, it truly is the result of many years of effort. To point out important factors, it must be noted that we feel it is our duty to provide a quality and rigorous curriculum aligned with state standards and taught by the best teachers in the state. In addition to that, we focus on positive relationships by a caring staff in a safe environment. Great students and a great staff make for a great school!

Thank you to all the students, staff, parents, and community members for supporting our schools and the work that we do!