El Dorado News

September 19, 2018
El Dorado News Times

El Dorado students excel on Benchmark tests

By Janice McIntyre
This article was published September 14, 2017 at 5:00 a.m.

Most Benchmark grades recorded for El Dorado School District students in grades three through 10 were higher than scores of their peers, when compared to a district with similar enrollment, area of the state and socioeconomic challenges.

Student Benchmark test scores for 2017 in reading, math, science, English and writing were presented as part of the El Dorado School District’s Annual Report to the Public on Monday night.

Rhonda Simmons, assistant superintendent, said that in reading, El Dorado students scored as follows:

Third-graders scored 28, compared to a similar district’s 30;

Fourth-graders scored 42, compared to 36;

Fifth-graders scored 30, compared to 23;

Sixth-graders scored 45, compared to 25;

Seventh-graders scored 31, compared to 20;

Eighth-graders scored 45, compared to 43;

Ninth-graders in both districts scored 30; and

10th-graders scored 31, compared to 29.

She said that in the third grade, students begin taking the timed Benchmark test and have to type their answers. She said now students start learning typing skills on a computer in kindergarten.

In math, El Dorado:

Third-graders scored 46, compared to 51;

Fourth-graders, 40 to 36;

Fifth-graders, 42 to 35;

Sixth-graders, 57 to 53;

Seventh-graders, 33 to 29;

Eighth-graders, 32 to 36;

Ninth-graders, 22 to 15; and

10th-graders, 19 to 16.

Science scores included:

27 to 32 in third grade;

35 to 33 in fourth grade,

36 to 26 in fifth grade;

43 to 28 in sixth grade;

37 to 27 in seventh grade;

42 to 34 in eighth grade;

23 to 22 in ninth grade; and

27 to 22 in 10th grade.

In English:

Third-graders scored 60, compared to 71 scored by students in a comparable district;

Fourth grade, 66 to 62;

Fifth grade, 64 to 54;

Sixth grade, 68 to 56;

Seventh grade, 77 to 69;

Eighth grade, 70 to 59;

Ninth grade, 53 to 49; and

10th grade, 51 to 56.

In writing:

Third-graders scored 6, compared to 14;

Fourth, 25 to 21;

Fifth, 48 to 30;

Sixth, 65 to 46;

Seventh, 29 to 28;

Eighth, 28 to 43;

Ninth, 39 to 42; and

10th, 47 to 53.

Federal programs in schools have been going through a process change in the past four years, said Bonnie Haynie, professional development/federal programs and special project director for the school district. Title I federal funds for the district went from $1,491,459.31 to $1,130,00.

Jim Tucker, superintendent, reported that during the summer months about $100,000 was spent to paint several areas at schools throughout the district and the roof of the Administration Office, 200 W. Oak, is being re-done and portions of other roofs on buildings in the district were also redone during the summer.

He said, this school year, the district is focusing on improving and expanding STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning at Barton Junior High School and El Dorado High School. He also reported progress in the “Breakfast in the Classroom” program started this school year.

Avery Johnson, a sixth grade student at Washington Middle School, was honored as student of the month. She is the daughter of Kristi and Don Johnson. Tyler Compton, her English teacher said, “Avery works hard every single day and is always on task and focused. She is polite, respectful and always willing to extend a helping hand.” Her principal, Jodie Vines, said she is an exemplary student and a great role model for others.

Chelsey Turner was honored as teacher of the month from WMS. She received her bachelor’s of science education degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and her master’s in education-library from Southern Arkansas University. She is a media specialist at Washington and has been with the district for five years. Fellow workers said she “goes above and beyond for everyone.” She is helpful and “always strives to improve learning for our students in every way imaginable.”

Also during Monday’s meeting, board members approved several student transfers, one from El Dorado to Parkers Chapel, one from El Dorado to Strong-Huttig, one from El Dorado to Smackover-Norphlet, three from Strong-Huttig to El Dorado and one from Smackover-Norphlet to El Dorado.

Following an executive session of the board Monday night, members accepted the following resignations: Bruce Pepper, Barton Junior High, effective Aug. 31; Tatianna Woods, El Dorado High School, effective Sept. 13; Sarah Campbell, EHS, effective Aug. 3 and Shawna Mason, Yocum, Judy Bass, Barton and Andrea Seeman, Northwest, all effective May 26.

They authorized the employment of Maria Martinez, EHS, began Sept. 5; Kesdandra Traylor, Northwest, began Sept. 6; Angie Waller, Hugh Goodwin, began Aug. 22; Janice Zeigler, Yocum, began Aug. 14; Latasha McAlphin, Washington Middle School, effective Aug. 28; Tiffany Hurley, Northwest, began Aug. 14; Denisha Norman, Yocum, began Aug. 21; Victoria Quarshire, Barton, began Aug. 21; April Thompson, Yocum, began Aug. 14 and Amanda Griffin, Washington, began Aug. 21.

Janice McIntyre can be reached at 870-862-6611 or jmcintyre@eldoradonews.com.

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