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WDC elementary students show improvement in assessment tests

Louis Rutten, Principal, WDC Elementary

WDC Schools looks forward to the promise of spring and a strong finish to the year. We have accomplished many wonderful things so far this academic year and have more challenges to complete. We are especially pleased with the support our parents and community have given us this year and most importantly, we are impressed with the efforts of students. This support and effort is crucial to the success of all learners.

Some evidence of our academic success at WDC Elementary has come in the form our fall and winter DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) and STAR Math benchmark assessment data. DIBELS measures are one way to help us continue to measure the effects of the Reading First School Change process that Wadena-Deer Creek Elementary implemented during the 2004-2007 school years. STAR Math is a measure of our student's proficiency in grade level math skills and concepts. Some of the highlights of this year's DIBELS and STAR data for WDC second through fourth- graders include:

• Building wide improvement from fall to winter benchmarks

• Reduced percentage of "at risk" students across most grade levels from fall to winter period by roughly 10 percent.

It is important to note that the DIBELS and STAR are just one way we measure how well our students are doing in reading and math. We also assess daily how well they respond to text across core the core areas of reading, math, science, and social studies (oral and written). We assess how well they can identify the author's purpose, and how well they can relate to a characters problem or solution in various texts. This higher level thinking and responding continues to challenge all learners and their teachers.

Our Professional Learning Community (PLC) teams that are identifying ways to continually improve instruction in all curricular areas demonstrate another measure of success in our school community. These teams also focus on the integration of new technologies in classroom instruction. With new applications and devices available to deliver engaging content, it is important to always be looking and trying new ways to deliver instruction.

A huge thank you to all students, staff, and community for participating in our annual "Pennies for Patients" fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as we smashed our goal of $1500 by bringing in over $2900 last week. We also thank parents for participating in last week's Parent Teacher Conferences and remind parents that we have our Kindergarten Round-Up scheduled for next Monday, March 17 beginning with a light meal at 5:30 p.m. As we begin the final three months of the school year we again ask for your continued support for our students and staff in WDC's mission to "build a legacy of student at a time."