Test Scores

MH School District: Test scores to continue onward and upward

Chandra Huston
Bulletin Staff Writer

Mountain Home School District test scores are above the state average, but administrators are not content to stop there. They are creating and implementing new strategies, tools and guides to raise scores even more.

In their annual report to the public Thursday, school officials spoke about test scores and how they will use the data gathered from those scores to improve all classes.

In Kindergarten, principal Leigh Anne Gigliotti is preparing students for their transition to the first grade.

She said teachers currently are implementing literacy and math programs.

Nelson-Wilks-Herron Elementary students also are working on literacy and math. Principal Leah Cotter said teachers are collaborating to form strategies for improvements on tests. They also have remediation classes.

Principal Charles Harris said students at Guy Berry Intermediate School are using a literacy lab to prepare for reading tests.

“We are finding out what the boys' and girls' weaknesses are,” he said.

Pinkston Middle School Principal Joe Fisher said the success of his students depends how much they learned in kindergarten through fourth grade.

“We are getting kids that are reading and doing math much, much better,” he said.

Fisher said Pinkston also is working on math coach training and more collaboration between teachers. The school also has a literacy lab and tutoring already in place.

Mountain Home Junior High School students are scoring well on state and national tests. Principal Wes Henderson said he is very pleased with how students are performing.

“The state has come up with good information about how the kids are doing,” he said.

Henderson said one of the biggest techniques he uses to prepare students for tests is taking them to an off-campus location for a day to practice.

Mountain Home High School Principal Dana Brown is trying to improve on the school's ACT scores.

The average composite score for Mountain Home was nearly 22 out of a possible 36. She said the high school is offering practice assessments, ACT preparation classes and tutoring from National Honor Society students.

“To me, ACT scores mean more than other scores,” said Dr. Charles Scriber, superintendent. “It shows ‘Is this child ready for the world?’”

Mountain Home School Board President Neal Pendergrass said he thinks the district is on the right track.

“Obviously we are heading in the right direction,” he said. “I do not believe that is by accident. It is by hard work. ”

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Originally published October 22, 2005

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