Shelly Wilfong •

North Webster • North Webster, IN

Getting focused and staying focused

Getting focused and staying focused

When Dr. Steve Troyer took over as Superintendent at Wawasee Community Schools, he had one goal. He wanted to make the district a premier school system with a focus on student success through the PLC process. The principal of North Webster Elementary School, Lee Snider, jumped all in with the same vision. With a new superintendent and lighter COVID restrictions, the 2021-2022 school year provided an excellent opportunity for a re-launch and re-emphases on the PLC process.

The staff at North Webster spent the first six weeks of “Smart Start” time (45 minutes each Wednesday), learning about the PLC process and the four critical questions as the focus of grade level team meetings. Mr. Snider followed up with short refreshers throughout the year as needed. At the start of the year, focus was on the PLC process and it remains the focus. At the district level, Dr. Troyer ensured that no other initiatives would be implemented throughout the district. Nothing was to distract from the work as a professional learning community.

Proof in the Results

The proof that the teachers at North Webster have bought into the vision of Dr. Troyer and Lee Snider are found in student achievement results. In both English language arts and math, achievement scores increased above pre-pandemic levels. In ELA, 2018-19 to 2021-22 students showed an increase from 34% to 48% in 3rd grade, 35% to 51% in 4th grade, and 49%-52% in 5th grade. Compared to the state ELA average, 3rd grade scored 7 points higher, 4th grade scored 10 points higher, and 5th grade scored 11 points higher. The 2021-22 5th grade cohort of students went from a 34% pass rate as 4th graders to 52% in 5th grade!

The math scores also showed improvement wiping out the COVID learning loss from the year prior. In math, 2018-19 to 2021-22 students showed an increase from 44% to 46% in 3rd grade, 44% to 46% in 4th grade, and 34% to 35% in 5th grade.

State assessment results are only one indicator of student success. NWEA MAP growth data also shows the tremendous growth of the students at North Webster. The reading growth percentile in 2021-22 was in the 83rd percentile in 2nd and 3rd grade, 53rd percentile in 4th grade, and 57th percentile in 5th grade. The math growth is even more staggering. The 2nd grade students were in the 79th percentile, 3rd in the 97th percentile, 4th in the 17th percentile, and 5th in the 84th percentile.

This year North Webster also scored in the top 15% of all public elementary schools on the IREAD-3 state assessment.

Tags: assessments, data, data collection, goals, results

Promote this story:

No responses yet.

You must sign in to comment.