Hillsboro Elementary Reviews AGR Progress Ahead Of June Deadline
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) established the Achievement Gap Reduction (AGR) program in the 2015-2016 school year in order to replace the retiring Student Achievement Guarantee in Education (SAGE) program by the 2017-2018 school year.
As part of the program, schools are required to create performance objectives that work to reduce the achievement gap between low-income students and other students throughout the state.
In the Hillsboro School District, the elementary school has been monitoring the progression of their objectives under the program and recently delivered a report to the school board. Students from kindergarten to third grade are the primary focus of the program, with objectives focused on reading and math performance.
For kindergarten students, the current objective is to have 90% exhibited letter ID knowledge of 90% or greater by June of this year. In math, the objective is to have 80% of students demonstrate fluency in oral counting by counting to sixty.
According to the report complied by elementary staff, kindergarten students are currently at 67% and 46% respectively in terms of meeting these objectives. Staff indicate that these numbers indicate students being on target to meet the set objectives by June of this year. Students seem to be having issues with the ‘decades,’ meaning that they have more difficulty with numbers over twenty, an issue elementary officials believe students will be able to overcome with more practice and familiarity with the numbering system.
Reading performance objectives for first grade students were set to see 80% of students either reach or exceed the 50th percentile on the spring STAR Early Lit reading assessment. Currently, only 58% of first grade students have met this goal, and school officials have projected that the current objective goal will not be met this year.
Second grade students have been met with objectives in reading and math performance of achieving or exceeding the 50th percentile in the respective spring STAR assessments. For reading, the objective requires 80% achievement and math requires a 90% achievement in order to meet the set goal. So far, 40% of second grade students are meeting the objective for reading while 59% are meeting the objective for math. School officials anticipate falling short of the reading performance goal but meeting the math performance goal by the end of the school year.
Goals similar to those set for second grade students have also been set for third grade students: 80% and 90% reaching or exceeding the 50th percentile in reading and math respectively on the spring STAR assessment. School officials anticipate third grade students meeting both objectives, with 67% and 63% of third grade students meeting these goals.
Data collected regarding the impact of COVID-19 in U.S. schools has indicated that student skills are six to twelve months behind schedule. Elementary principal Steve Christianson has indicated that such trends are especially true in first and second grade students, who were unable to properly develop fundamental skills before the COVID shutdowns. However, Christianson reported that most elementary students are not six to twelve months behind in their studies and are demonstrating a comparatively lesser lag in their education.