White River celebrates scores

White River School District administrators are excited about the gains students made on the latest round of state tests, especially the district’s elementary students.

“Truly there is much to be celebrated in these scores,” Deputy Superintendent Janel Keating told the school board at its Sept. 8 meeting.

Of the 17 school districts in Pierce County, White River was first in third-, fourth- and fifth-grade math.

White River High saw gains in reading, science and math. Glacier Middle School was up in seventh- and eighth-grade reading, sixth- and eighth-grade writing and math. Elk Ridge Elementary gained in third-grade math. Wilkeson Elementary gained in third-grade reading and math and Mountain Meadow Elementary gained in fourth- and fifth-grade math.

With a math adoption at the middle school, the district expects to see those scores climb.

Most impressive, District Assessment and Curriculum Director Mike Jacobsen said, when the data was analyzed and compared to other districts in the Educational Service District, taking into account free- and reduced-lunch count, Foothills Elementary is one of the top performing elementary schools in King and Pierce counties. The school that comes closest, Jacobsen said, is a Bellevue school with 100 students and a much lower free and reduced lunch count.

“We’ve had a lot of people come to our district to see what we are doing,” Keating said.

She attributes the success to collective ownership of the students, a focus on student achievement, the refining the intervention process and the hard work of the entire community – teachers, paraeducators, students, custodians, bus drivers and parents.

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