Most elementary and middle school students in town are meeting reading and math standards, according to a recent presentation to the Board of Education. But some are reading up to two grades below level.
That number, especially at the middle school level, is a cause for concern, according to at least one member, who labeled the number of those not meeting reading standards as “substantial.”
“There was such a big bubble in those numbers in middle school,” board member Julie McNamee said. “Those were really high and we know those kids will be headed off to high school soon and the reading demands are so great.”
The i-Ready assessment measures student mastery of Common Core K-8 standards. School officials expect students to meet half of those standards in the middle of the year, Assistant Superintendent Susan Iwanicki said.
“We wouldn’t expect them to get 100 percent of the standards to be met when it’s only the middle of the year,” Iwanicki said.
According to the assessment, 66 percent of Trumbull students met or exceeded reading standards for their grade, as did about 56 percent of students in math standards. But some students lagged, with about 10 percent scoring two or more grade levels below in reading, and 7 percent at least two grade levels behind in math.
The reading assessment included questions that tested students’ understanding of vocabulary and literature, and their ability to connect sounds they hear in spoken words, known as phonics. Other skills tested included student understanding of common words, how words can be broken into sounds and syllables, and informal text, such as newspaper and magazine articles.
The math assessment included questions that tested algebra, geometry, arithmetic, measurements and data.
The elementary students with the highest makeup of those who met or exceeded reading standards were third graders with 79 percent. Those who had the lowest were first graders with 60 percent.
For middle school students, eighth graders had the highest percentage meeting reading standards with 63 percent, while seventh graders had the lowest with 57 percent.
Seventh grade students also saw the largest increase — 4 percent — for those scoring below grade level for reading compared to the previous school year.
“There appears to be a very small uptick, which we wouldn’t say is really statistically significant, but most grade levels are doing either on-par with what they were last year, or a little bit better,” Iwanicki said.
For math, elementary students with the highest makeup of those who met or exceeded standards were fifth graders with 66 percent. Those who had the lowest were second graders with 44 percent.
Sixth graders had the highest percentage of middle schoolers who met math standards with 60 percent, while seventh graders had the lowest with 54 percent.