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PART IV - INDICATORS OF ACADEMIC SUCCESS

1.      Assessment Results: 

St Josaphat School annually administers the CTB/McGraw Hill’s Terra Nova test in grades 2-7. The Terra Nova is a norm-references test that provides assessment data, which compares the achievement of individuals and groups of students with the national performance of the same. The reading test scores student achievement related to objectives in basic understanding, analyzing text, evaluating meaning, and identifying and applying reading strategies. The mathematics test also scores student achievement as it relates to numbers and numerical relations, computation and estimation, measurement, geometry, and spatial sense, data, statistics, and probability, patterns, problem solving, reasoning and communication. The test includes a more comprehensive writing section in grades 4 and 7. More information can be obtained by contacting CTB at www.ctb.com.

In studying test scores, it is evident that SJS students’ performance on the Terra Nova standardized test, is significantly above the national norm. The students’ achieve scores that routinely place the school in the top 10% of schools in the nation. Their scores show a steady increase in most cases from year to year. It is important to note that the average class size is 20 students per grade level and that students who would qualify for special education services in the public system rarely have their scores removed from the general testing population. Parents prefer to have their children in a small Catholic school environment rather than in a large public school where they could receive special services. With this in mind when the scores of a learning disabled student are included in the general population and there is a small group to begin with, the scores are easily skewed. The administration and faculty of SJS accepts this fact and is more interested in the individual scores of the students than the class averages. There is valuable information provided by the testing company that assist us in serving our students in reaching their potential academically.

When reviewing the scores, teachers check to see which students have mastered specific concepts, partially mastered or had a non-mastery designation. This information aids in fine-tuning the curriculum. It indicates what areas need to be reviewed and which the students have already mastered. The test results also indicate student’s learning styles by identifying those who are verbal learners and those who are non-verbal. This information aids the teachers in determining which methods of delivering the curriculum will be most effective.

The curriculum is not driven by our test results but certainly is modified by our students’ achievement. Recognizing that the science scores were typically lower than the other academic areas prompted the faculty to address the science curriculum. Improvements have been made in both the content and delivery of the science curriculum. It was apparent that certain science concepts were covered that did not align with the testing questions. The scope and sequence has been changed so students will have studied concepts prior to taking the test

As a school, the goal is to prepare the students to excel at the high school level.

Another important assessment is the tests the students take for their entrance into the high school of their choice. St. Josaphat students qualify and attend the finest City of Chicago schools called, “selective enrollment high schools” as well as the finest Catholic high schools in the nation. They perform very well on the entrance exams and in their classes at St. Josaphat School, which enables them to routinely attend the high school of their choice.

2.      Using Assessment Results: 

The St. Josaphat School community examines a variety of assessment data. The faculty utilizes standardized assessment results in preparing and improving instruction. Students in grades two through seven take the

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