Data Dive – Sunny Hill Intermediate School
Throughout the school year, students at each school in Haywood County Schools are assessed three times in order to gauge where each individual student is on their personal learning journey. These assessments allow teachers to monitor student learning progress while also gaining insight into what specific areas of a subject a student could use extra support.
While teachers, schools, and districts are measured mostly on TNReady data, the benchmark assessments given throughout the year provide a more accurate view at the learning taking place in the classroom. The assessments used to measure learning in each school in HCS are the AimsWeb assessments in Reading and Math and the IReady assessments in the same subjects. The AimsWeb assessment is given in Kindergarten through Tenth Grades. The IReady assessment is given in grades K-8.
The AimsWeb assessments in Reading and Math measure basic skills in each subject. Basic skills include reading comprehension and fluency and making calculations of measurements, sizes, and amounts. AimsWeb is an assessment that is used to monitor progress and ensure the majority of our students at each grade level are working toward basic grade level skills in each subject.
The IReady assessment measures student progress in relation to state academic standards. This assessment is not always reflective of the basic skills of students in Reading and Math, but shows how well students understand the standards being taught. State standards are created in order to push the students to think at a deeper level beyond the basic skill levels of a subject. These tests combine test taking skills with in-depth knowledge of each subject. This assessment is more closely aligned with the year-end TNReady standardized tests given each spring.
Over the next two weeks, HCS will be sharing grade level data from each school that shows the results from AimsWeb, IReady, and the TNReady assessments. The TNReady assessment is given in grades 2-8.
At the beginning of the year, each school sets a goal based on the fall benchmark. In the horizontal graphs below, results from the fall, winter, and spring benchmark assessments will be shown and compared with the goals set from each school
Like other schools across HCS, Sunny Hill Intermediate School (SHIS) students showed outstanding growth throughout the year on AimsWeb benchmark assessments. They also showed growth on three out of four IReady assessments. Their TNReady/TCAP scores showed room for improvement, but did have a large number of students who were approaching grade level expectations on the assessment.
Below, each data point from each assessment will be shown in a graph. These graphs will be summarized below their picture for a better understanding of the data.
AimsWeb uses a three tiered system to measure student progress and provide information regarding where students are on their learning paths. While we want all students to be in Tier 1, a more realistic goal (especially coming on the heels of two fractured years of in-person learning) is to see substantial growth in our collective group of Tier 1 students. The tiers are described below:
Tier 1 = Low Risk (about 75%–95% of students in this group will meet the target): Students are on track to meet the end-of-year target and are least likely to need intervention. These students should continue to receive the general instructional program. Typically, the majority of students fall into this category.
Tier 2 = Moderate Risk (about 25%–65% of students in this group will not meet the target): Students are not on track and have a moderate risk of not meeting the end-of-year target. These students require some type of intervention, often taking the form of supplemental small group instruction.
Tier 3 = High Risk (about 50%–90% of students in this group will not meet the target): Students are not on track and are typically well-below grade level. These students have a high risk of not meeting the end-of-year target without intensive, individualized instructional intervention.
5th Grade Reading
Fifth grade students at SHIS showed excellent progress throughout the year on the AimsWeb benchmark test in Reading. By the end of the year, nearly 70% of fifth grade students were in Tier 1 on the Spring benchmark assessment. More importantly, only 20% of fifth grade students found themselves in Tier 3. While fifth grade didn’t quite reach the goal that was set at the beginning of the year, they did see incredible growth throughout the year.
5th Grade Math
Fifth grade math students at SHIS nearly doubled their amount of Tier 1 students from the Fall benchmark assessment to the Spring benchmark taking Tier 1 students from 57 to 100. They surpassed their goal of 92 Tier 1 students that was set at the beginning of the year. They also decreased their number of Tier 3 students from 110 to 78. While more improvement needs to be made, this growth is encouraging as students move to the sixth grade.
6th Grade Reading
Sixth grade students at SHIS started the Fall benchmark strong with nearly 60% of students being in Tier 1. They increased that number to 107 by the end of the year which put them at nearly 70% of students being in Tier 1. With 14 students making up nearly 10% of sixth grade students in Tier 2, only 20% of sixth grade students were in Tier 3 by the end of the year.
6th Grade Math
Sixth grade students at SHIS showed great gains on the Math AimsWeb benchmark. Tier 1 students increased from 56 to 91 over the course of the year and made up nearly 60% of the grade. At the end of the first semester, 45% of sixth grade students were in Tier 3, but only 22% were in Tier 3 by the end of the year. This reduction allows less students to require intensive intervention in Math.
IReady data is broken down into five sub-groups and is an assessment that compares well with the TNReady assessment based on the style of questions that are asked. Here is how the scoring is broken down:
Mid/Above grade level: this group is made up of students who are proficient or mastering the grade level educational standards being taught.
Early on grade level: this group is made up of students who are on track to mastery or proficiency of the grade level subject being taught.
1 grade below: this group of students is one grade behind their current grade level as it pertains to the standard being taught.
2 grades below: this group of students is two grades behind their current grade level as it pertains to the standard being taught.
3 grades below: this group of students is three grades or more behind their current grade level as it pertains to the standard being taught.
5th Grade Reading
Fifth grade IReady growth wasn’t as impressive as the AimsWeb growth, but the growth was still encouraging.
While only 8 students were added to the on or above grade level band by the end of the year, the reduction of students who were two or three grades below grade level was encouraging. The number of those students decreased from 146 at the beginning of the year to 116 by the end.
While fifth grade students did see marginal growth, more growth would like to be seen next school year.
5th Grade Math
While fifth grade growth on the IReady Reading assessment was modest, Math was a different story.
In the fall, only seven students were on or above grade level on the assessment. By the end of the Spring benchmark, however, 50 students were on or above grade level! The percentage of students that were above, on, or one grade below grade level made up nearly 55% of the fifth grade class. That’s promising data!
6th Grade Reading
Like fifth grade, sixth grade growth on the IReady Reading benchmark was minimal over the course of the year.
The number of on or above grade level students increased by eight students throughout the course of the year. The number of students that were 3 or more grade levels behind only decreased by ten. For the most part, growth on the IReady benchmark for sixth grade reading was minimal. What is important to note, however, is that students’ learning did not collectively decrease throughout the year.
6th Grade Math
SHIS sixth grade students showed learning growth in Math on the IReady assessment throughout the year.
The number of students on or above grade level in Math increased from seven to 30 by the end of the year. The number of students three or more grade levels below decreased from 74 to 50 and the number of students 2 grades below decreased from 30 to 22. This is very important in regards to needed intervention.
TNReady/TCAP Data – Fifth/Sixth Grade
The TNReady/TCAP assessments at the end of each year are the assessments that get weighed heaviest when it comes to learning data for schools and districts.
The TNReady/TCAP assessments measure how well students understand the state educational standards that are taught during the school year; this assessment does not measure basic, fundamental skills in academic subjects. While the data is clearly valuable, it does not always paint an accurate picture of a student’s reading level or basic understanding of mathematical concepts.
Below are the data from SHIS fifth and sixth grade students on the TNReady/TCAP assessments. The data is broken down by subject and test – ELA, Math, Science for fifth grade. ELA, Math, Science, and Social Studies for sixth grade.
The data is broken down into four groups – mastery, on track, approaching, and below.
Mastered: Performance at this level demonstrates that the student has an extensive understanding and expert ability to apply the grade/course level knowledge and skills defined by the Tennessee academic standards.
On Track: Performance at this level demonstrates that the student has a comprehensive understanding and thorough ability to apply the grade/course level knowledge and skills defined by the Tennessee academic standards.
Approaching: Performance at this level demonstrates that the student is approaching understanding and has a partial ability to apply the grade/course level knowledge and skills defined by the Tennessee academic standards.
Below: Performance at this level demonstrates that the student has a minimal understanding and has a nominal ability to apply the grade/course level knowledge and skills defined by the Tennessee academic standards.
5th Grade TNReady Data
The percentage of fifth grade students at SHIS that were below grade level on the TCAP assessment was near or above 50% in each subject tested. We do expect to see growth on next year’s TCAP assessment based on these numbers.
IReady data throughout the year is normally a closer indicator of TCAP results than AimsWeb, but the fifth grade data from Math doesn’t bear that out in this case. This also speaks to the inconsistencies that a once-a-year assessment brings to data interpretation.
The ELA and Science data from the TCAP assessment is encouraging, but also provides room for vast improvement.
6th Grade TNReady Data
On three out of four TNReady assessments, nearly 60% of sixth grade SHIS students were either on track or approaching grade level on the TNReady assessment. The only subject and test that was below 60% was Math where only 30% of sixth grade students were on or approaching grade level.
ELA and Social Studies had strong showings on the year end assessment with over 60% of sixth grade students approaching, on, or mastering state standards.
This is only a starting point for our fifth and sixth grade students. As they progress through their educational career in HCS, we will be able to compare this data with future TCAP assessments and monitor growth on this particular type of assessment which is only given once a year.
As with all data in HCS, growth is the priority. We also want to ensure that we are not using data as simply a measuring tool, but something that can be used to target learning areas that need improvement.