Crook County schools outpace state reading average

By Sarah Pridgeon

The students of Crook County’s schools achieved results that outstrip their counterparts all across Wyoming in this year’s Proficiency Assessments for Wyoming Students (PAWS) reading tests. While reading averages have increased as a whole, Sundance, Hulett and Moorcroft schools almost unanimously outscore the rest of the state.

“We have great students and great kids,” comments Superintendent Lon Streib. “The teachers make PAWS meaningful to the kids, they all take it seriously and it shows – they perform really well and we’re right up there with the best of them.”

Sundance Elementary displayed huge score improvements from the 2011 PAWS tests, with fourth graders achieving a score of 91 percent proficiency in reading, up from 83 percent last year and above the state average of 83.2 percent. The fifth grade score improved from 59 to 71 percent, while in seventh grade the score increased from 67 to 86 percent, compared to a state average of 75 percent, and the eighth grade result increased from 67 to 85 percent, again far exceeding the state average of 77.5 percent.

Hulett High’s eleventh grade proficiency results also showed distinct improvement, increasing from 69 to 87.5 percent since 2011’s tests. The state average for the eleventh grade is 76.5 percent.

Moorcroft Elementary again displayed excellence in reading proficiency, with third, fourth and fifth graders scoring in the high 80 percent proficiency range, far above the state averages of 69.6, 83.2 and 79.1 percent respectively. Eighth graders meanwhile achieved a score that increased from 83 to 91 percent proficient, compared to the state average of 77.5 percent, while sixth graders grew to 89 percent proficient, exceeding the state average of 84 percent.

“The teachers know that these scores are important to us and they’re able to relay to the students that they need to do their very best,” says Streib. “Our curriculum is appropriate for students to be successful, we know what we’re teaching and when.”

Math scores were also positive for all three schools. In Hulett, proficiency scores came in at 72.23 percent for third grade students, 61.54 percent in fourth grade, 62.5 percent in fifth grade, 80 percent in seventh grade and 41.67 percent in eighth grade, with a score of equal to or plus 80 percent for eleventh grade (results for small classes are reported differently to protect individual students).

In Moorcroft, third grade students achieved a math score of plus or equal to 95 percent in both third and fifth grade, 94.34 in fourth grade, 90.48 in sixth grade, 77.78 in seventh grade, 80.65 in eighth grade and 65 in eleventh grade. Sundance students saw proficiency results of 87.1 percent, 78.79 percent, 79.17 percent, 73.91 percent, 78.57 percent, 75 percent and 66.67 percent in the same grades respectively.

The state averages in math are 90.4 percent in third grade, 82.2 percent in fourth grade, 81.9 percent in fifth grade, 82.4 percent in sixth grade, 76 percent in seventh grade, 72.6 percent in eighth grade and 66.2 percent in eleventh grade.

In science, Hulett School achieved a score of 69.23 percent in fourth grade, 33.33 percent in eighth grade and equal to or plus 80 percent in eleventh grade. Moorcroft saw results of 71.7, 67.74 and 47.5 percent and Sundance 69.7, 65 and 58.33 percent in the same grades respectively.

The state averages for science are 63.3 percent in fourth grade, 51.2 percent in eighth grade and 51 percent in eleventh grade.

PAWS has been the official statewide assessment used to measure individual student achievment against the Wyoming Content and Performance Standards in reading, writing and mathematics for grades 3-8 and 11 since 2005-6. A science assessment was implemented for grades 4, 8 and 11 in 2008.