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Officials pleased with results of retest

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GREENFIELD — Of the 52 county students who needed to retake the IREAD-3 test because they failed it or missed it in the spring, nine will repeat third grade.

That compares with three students countywide in 2013 who weren’t allowed to advance to fourth grade. The year before that, in the high-stakes test’s first year, a dozen students had to repeat third grade.

Thirteen students who took the test after the end of the school year qualified for waivers and will be promoted to fourth grade regardless of how they scored. The status of four others is still to be determined.

In all, 25 students were able to pass IREAD-3 during the retest window, which closed last week.

The state-mandated reading comprehension exam is designed to ensure third-graders are reading at grade level before they are promoted to fourth grade.  

Of the 356 third-graders who went to Greenfield-Central schools last school year, 24 students were in position to take I-READ in the summer.

Assistant Superintendent Ann Vail said 18 students took the retest; seven students were able to pass. Ten were given good-cause exemptions, moving them on to fourth grade.

Seven students will repeat third grade.

Vail said district officials are proud of the district’s passing rate of 95.2 percent.

“We believe we have established a strong core reading program with a supporting intervention model for students who need additional instruction and practice,” Vail said.

Mt. Vernon schools originally had 11 students who needed to take the test this summer.

Fortville Elementary had four students who retook the test and passed, giving the school a 100 percent passing mark.

Overall in the district, eight students passed the retest, one was given an exemption and two were retained. They ended up with 248 out of 251 third graders passing the test.  

Assistant superintendent Mike Horton said he was pleased with the overall results.

“I have to give credit to our teachers and principals who work with our students each day,” he said. “We strive for 100 percent each year so a 99 percent pass rate is an excellent accomplishment overall.”

He said the district’s use of the Northwest Evaluation Association, a nonprofit organization that offers a range of Common Core-aligned educational assessments, was a key factor in monitoring student achievement.

 Horton said that data has helped make district officials more aware of what elements a student may need extra help with in order to meet the achievement level to pass IREAD-3.

At Southern Hancock, 13 students were required to take the test over the summer.

Curriculum director Rhonda Peterson said nine students were able to pass it the second time around.  

The other four, all special-education students, qualify for the good-cause exemptions. However, Peterson said the district has yet to decide whether they will move on to the fourth grade.

“Sometimes the parents will want them to move on; it all depends,” Peterson said. “Because they all qualify for the waiver, we don’t have to retain anyone. … I really don’t think we will retain anyone.”

Peterson said she is thrilled at the passing rate in the district.

 “The test does give us an indicator,” Peterson said. “Although I do believe looking at a lot of different measures over time gives us a better historical perspective of how students perform.”

The county’s smallest district, Eastern Hancock, had three students who needed to retake the exam out of 74 third-graders. One passed. The other two received waivers.

The good-cause exemption waivers can be used for students who have previously been retained two times prior to fourth grade. It also can be used on students with disabilities whose case conference committees have determined that promotion is appropriate. It may also be used for students whose individual learning plan committee has determined promotion is appropriate.


 Greenfield-Central: 18 out of 24 eligible students took the exam; seven retained in third grade, seven passed; 10 exemptions.

 Mt. Vernon: 11 students took the exam;  two retained in third grade; eight passed; one exemption.

 Eastern Hancock: Three students took the exam; none retained in third grade; one passed; two exemptions.

 Southern Hancock: 13 students took the exam (a 14th eligible student has moved out of the district); nine passed; four qualify for exemptions but status is yet to be determined

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