HANCOCK COUNTY — More than 92 percent of Hancock County third-graders passed the IREAD-3 exam this spring, according to data released Friday by the Indiana Department of Education.
About 93 percent of students from Southern Hancock and Greenfield-Central schools passed the test; 92 percent of Eastern Hancock students passed; and 90 percent of Mt. Vernon students passed. The test determines whether students may move on to fourth-grade reading lessons.
Of nearly 900 Hancock County third-graders required to take the IREAD-3, 68 have not yet passed the test, according to DOE data.
All four of the county’s schools showed better results than the state’s average, which dipped from about 85 percent last year to about 84 percent.
This year’s results are close to those from 2014, when 94 percent of the county’s third-graders passed.
Students who didn’t pass the test will retake it this summer after remediation and must achieve a passing score before moving on to fourth grade.
School administrators said they already have plans in place to target those students who need a little extra help.
Greenfield-Central Superintendent Harold Olin said he’s pleased with the final results — DOE data show just 22 of the 314 students tested in his district didn’t pass — but he always has an eye on improvement.
“The hope is that all students are prepared to pass a basic reading assessment at this time in third grade,” he said.
About 20 of the Greenfield-Central students who didn’t pass previously were identified as having special education needs, and educators are working with their parents to address their challenges, Olin added.
Students who did not pass the test already receive extra remediation for the school day and will be offered a three-week summer school to prepare for the retest.
“We know there are some barriers there to learning, but we have an obligation to overcome those barriers,” Olin said.
Mt. Vernon assistant superintendent Mike Horton said he was pleased with the preliminary results he received last month and is now focused on preparing those who fell short for the retest. Of the 259 students tested at the district’s three elementary schools, 24 didn’t pass.
Traditionally, all students who go through remediation pass the test on their second try, he said.
“We feel the focus we have in place is meeting the needs of our students,” Horton said. “Past practice has shown remediation certainly helps.”
At Eastern Hancock Elementary, seven of 88 students tested did not pass.
Superintendent Randy Harris said the school district is happy with the results but aims to see all students pass the test on their first try.
The district’s literacy coach is working during and after school with students who didn’t pass the test to prepare them to try again, he said.
“We did pretty well,” he said. “Now it’s what can we do to get those few students the additional help they need to pass it once they retake it in about a month.”
Officials in the Southern Hancock School District already have started remediation for the 14 students who didn’t pass the original test.
Curriculum director Rhonda Peterson said, while educators are pleased 93 percent — or 216 students — passed the test, they won’t be satisfied until all students do so following a summer remediation program.
“We’ve had about 12-14 kids each summer for the past few years in that class,” Peterson said. “By the end of the summer, we’ve had either all students pass or receive that ‘good cause exemption’ because of their special education need.”
Once students retake the test this summer, the state department will recalculate results to finalize pass rates for schools and the state.
Staff writer Kristy Deer and editor Noelle M. Steele contributed to this report.