.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Pion School scores high on state assessment

-A A +A
By Kirsten Laskey

Last year Pion Elementary School sixth-grade class achieved the highest percentage of advanced and proficient scores in math and science on the New Mexico Standards Based Assessment in the state.This means more than just meeting the state’s expectations; the high scores are proof of the school’s team work, principal Megan Lee said.Everyone, from teachers to students to parents contributed to this success, Lee said. She called it a “collaborative” effort.“I think the community, the parents really care about education,” she said.Not only does the school utilize the whole community, but it looks at the whole child, Lee said.“Pion offers a real varied experience for each individual ee (there are) lots of opportunities for students to learn in different (areas),” she said. “We look at the whole child; that helps because we allow children to grow academically in a variety of ways.”This includes extracurricular activities, which can “add to students’ learning,” Lee said.The results seem to speak for themselves. Last year, 86 percent of sixth-graders were proficient or advanced in math and 93 percent were advanced or proficient in science. “So they did do quite well,” Lee said.The assessment, Lee explained, is the state’s criterion test that covers reading, math, science and writing.The scores from the test determine whether a school achieved adequate yearly progress.Testing begins in late February and runs through March.Pion Elementary School is not the only school in the district to be successful on the exam. For instance, Mary McLeod, assistant superintendent, said the state requires 33 percent of students be proficient in math and all the elementary schools exceeded this requirement. Science, McLeod explained, is not used to determine adequate yearly progress.“We did very well on the Standard Based Assessment,” she said.The exam does not just look at the whole population, McLeod said. The federal government mandates the schools meet goals for sub groups, too. The sub group in Los Alamos Public Schools is special education.“They are still meeting what is required for adequate yearly progress,” McLeod said. “All our kids do.”“We’re really proud of them,” she added. “Every site has really been focusing on improving our math scores. We want to have (our) scores competing with top schools in the nation.”While meeting the exam’s objectives is work; the goal at Pion, Lee said, is to make the test as fun as possible.Because testing can be stressful, Lee said the staff tries to help students feel comfortable and confident.In recognition of Pion’s achievement, Lee, and sixth-grade math and science teachers Ryan Ross and Rex Kilburn received a certificate of achievement during the first annual Math and Science Day Feb. 5 at the State Capitol.Additionally, congratulations will be given to last year’s sixth-grade class in the form of an ice cream celebration from 4:30-6 p.m. Feb. 21 in the elementary school’s staff lounge.