OXFORD — Student test scores in math and reading confirm that Oxford Elementary School and Oxford Hills Middle School have made annual progress and will be placed on monitor status.

“It is our first year to get off the list,” said Curriculum Director Kathy Elkins of the continued improvement priority category that both schools have been on after previously failing to meet Maine Educational Assessment tests annual progress standards.

In 2002, President George W. Bush signed the No Child Left Behind Act with a long-range goal that every child be proficient in core areas of study, according to state standards. The Maine Educational Assessment measures a student’s proficiency against Maine’s standards are detailed in the Maine Learning Results. The tests are given in March.

Although the results from the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School, which is currently on monitor status, have not been reported yet, Elkins told the SAD 17 board Monday that all other schools made annual yearly progress, except for the Rowe Elementary School in Norway. That school failed in special education reading test results. Those results are being appealed because Elkins said they believe there was a calculation error.

According to the test results, 67 percent of students were found to be proficient in reading in grades three through eight and on track to meet the 2011 district goal of having 75 percent of students meet or exceed state standards in reading and math.

The middle school results in math were not as good, however. Some 50 percent of grade seven math scores met or exceeded the state average of 53 percent in 2008, but this year that number fell to 40 percent meeting or exceeding the 58 percent state average.

“These are way too low,” Elkins said. Efforts are under way to improve those scores this year by hiring a new math coach and two interventionists.

The results were seen as a good news to the school district although there are many challenges ahead, Elkins said.

To meet some of those challenges, Elkins said the district has implemented aggressive initiatives both in literacy and math including staff development, using double block literacy and math classes at the high school, hiring coaches and interventionists for math and focusing on a kindergarten through grade 12 initiative responses to problem areas.

In addition to the district goal that by 2011, 75 percent of students meet or exceed standards in reading and math, that expectation is increased to 90 percent by 2014.

“We’re closing the gap. We should have a good chance by 2011 to meet the 75 percent goal,” Elkins said.

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