Each year, St. George Catholic School strives to improve students’ academic achievement in TerraNova standardized test scores.
Two years ago, after examining TerraNova scores, administration and school math teachers developed a plan to focus on improving math skills.
Math resource teachers were hired to work in first through fifth grades, and the school adopted the use of IXL Math, an online leveled math program that allows students to practice math fluency and computation, a news release said. All students were required to complete 30 minutes of First in Math each week as part of their homework, with teachers monitoring their weekly progress. Principal Jack Nelson acted as program monitor.
As of April, St. George Catholic School had completed 2.6 million math problems. IXL Math also recognized Michele Scioneaux’s second-grade class; Lynn Blanchard’s third-grade class; Barbara Hathorn’s third-grade class; Courtney Minvielle’s third-grade class; Missy Dauzat’s third-grade class; Emily Dirks’ fourth-grade class; and Michelle Hartung’s fifth-grade class for completing more than 100,000 problems within the academic year.
Using math vocabulary and math strategies, anchor charts were created and placed in classrooms to develop common math language among teachers and grade levels. Teachers also incorporated new technologies such as document cameras, SmartBoards, iPads and Apple TVs into their math instruction.
Within two academic school years, St. George Catholic School math scores placed in the top 15 percent of schools nationally, the release said.