BY TRICIA HILL
Boscobel seventh and eighth graders rose to the occasion while taking their MAPs testing at the end of April. The eighth grade students for the first time have their school average above the national average in the categories of math, reading, language arts and science. The seventh graders have their school average at or above the national average in science, language arts and math. They were below the national average in reading.
“Our school average in all four categories has been at or below the national average,” Principal Greg Bell said. “Like anything, you take steps. Our goal was to get our school average above the national average.”
According to Bell, the faculty puts a lot of emphasis on the MAPs test scores. Teachers build their student learning objectives based on the scores recorded from the MAPs testing.
“The students know that this is important, so we rewarded them for their efforts to make it important,” Bell said. “We challenged the eighth graders to continue and we challenged the seventh graders to get there or beyond next year.”
The results from the MAPs testing for the eighth grade students was 238 in math, which is four points higher than the national average; 223 in reading, which is one point higher than the national average; 224 in language, which is three points higher than the national average and 218 in science, which is four points higher than the national average. They improved by 10 points in math, four points in reading, five points in language arts and five points in science from the beginning of the year. The national average grew four points in math, three points in reading, two points in language arts and three points in science from the beginning of the year.
The seventh grade had 231 points in math, 220 points in language arts and 215 points in science. In these categories they were higher than the national average. They were higher than the national average by one point in math, one point in language arts and four points in science. They were two points below the national average in reading. They improved from the beginning of the school year by 11 points in math, six points in reading, five points in language arts and six points in science. The national average grew by four points in math and reading, three points in language arts and science.
“We actually grew faster than the national average,” Bell said. “The point of MAPs testing is to show the growth of the students in an educational assessment.”
Due to the improvement made by the seventh and eighth grade students on their MAPs scores, they were rewarded with an Ice Cream Social in the cafeteria. Bell and faculty plan to continue rewarding the students with some kind of special event as they continue to succeed in the MAPs testing.
“I hope this will be the first of many rewards to be had,” Bell said.
When asked if Bell believed that incoming seventh graders would be able to achieve higher or at the same level of this year’s seventh graders, he was confident that they would be able to.
“We’re seeing the scores improve with efforts in RTI (Response Through Intervention),” Bell said. “When we first started RTI a few years ago we started by providing services to students who were in the bottom 25 percentile nationally. Now we are servicing students all the way through the bottom 40th percentile.”
Due to the numbers that just came back from MAPs, Bell is hoping that they will be able to service all students in RTI who are in the bottom 50 percent nationally.
“We’re seeing improvement and providing interventions through RTI and we’re seeing gains from it,” Bell said.
Bell is proud of how hard the students and teachers are working. The teachers are looking at data from the MAPs testing and are making decisions on how to put their lessons together.
“They are making decisions on what they should develop for objectives and it is obviously working,” Bell said.