Students of the Month

Sat, 01/30/2016 - 7:15am

The Block Island School has initiated a monthly program of recognizing two students from the middle and high school grades for outstanding qualities and behavior. This month’s honorees are Chloe Weber, a sixth grader, and Bridgette Keane in grade 11.

In statements posted on the main bulletin board in the school’s entrance corridor, Chloe was described by staff as “always supportive and helpful to her classmates. She is a model student, works hard and takes pride in her work. Chloe is positive, caring and compassionate to all of her peers.”

The staff continued, “Way to go, Chloe! We love having Chloe as a student in the middle grades!”

In recognizing Bridgette, the staff wrote, “Bridgette is dedicated to being successful in every aspect of her education. She is a diverse student, an athlete and scholar. Her tireless determination and drive to achieve are admirable.”

The staff added, “Way to go, Bridgette! Keep up the good work and thank you for being such a positive role model for our students.”

Results of PARCC tests 

Monje also announced that the island school had received the results of statewide administration of PARCC tests in English Language Arts/Literacy (ELA) and mathematics. The ELA segment of the tests was given to students in grades three through ten, while in math, students in grades three through eight took the tests. All students taking algebra and geometry, including those in grades 11 and 12, took the PARCCs as well. PARCC stands for Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.

These results reflected some difficulties in the administration of the test to local students, Monje felt. She said, “This was the first year of this testing, and the students took the tests on computers. They did have some issues with the computer, and next time we’re going to paper.”

She added that the language of the new math testing also posed problems for some students and suggested that some classroom work was still needed to address this issue. Nevertheless, Monje explained, “In ELA, our students surpassed the state average on every level.”

Charts distributed by the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) indicate that the ELA statewide average for tenth graders was just over 30 percent, while New Shoreham high school and middle grades showed a combined averaged of 77.8 percent. The percentages are based on averages of the two highest attainment levels.

Although the comparisons are not absolutely specific to grade for the local school, because of the very small number of students in each class, over all, the island school “was one of only 14 districts scoring above 70 percent in ELA,” Monje said.

Among other schools that came in close to Block Island in ELA scoring are: Barrington High School with 77.2 percent; Classical High School in Providence with 88 percent; the Compass Middle School with 71.4 percent; East Greenwich Middle School at 78.5 percent and Wickford Middle School with 67.9 percent.

Math was still something of a work-in-progress, Monje pointed out. She said it was because both students and faculty were still in the midst of familiarizing themselves with the Common Core curricula and with the PARCC testing tool.

Trips, grants and fundraisers

As a small group of tenth graders were traveling to St. Croix, another was making plans for fundraising to underwrite its participation in what has become an annual event: Close-Up, a trip by eleventh and twelfth graders to Washington DC. With help from their social studies teacher, Patrick Wygant, the students have been busy raising funds to underwrite the costs of their excursion to take place in March.

Monje was elated to announce the receipt of a grant from the Champlins Foundation for $46,000 earmarked to enhance internet speed at the island school.