Saturday, December 20, 2014
   
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Scores improve enough to drop label

School district continues work on reading.
Last spring, Brady’s 11th-grade math and reading scores fell below the state-determined proficiency level for a fourth straight year.
That forced state officials to label Brady High School as one of Nebraska’s persistently low-achieving schools.
But better scores by last year’s juniors helped the school shed the label and moved the class above the state average in all four areas tested: reading, writing, math and science.
“We’ve met all of the federal annual yearly progress requirements,” said superintendent Bill Porter, “and we’ve done what we needed to do according to the state.”
This year’s Brady seniors were 100% proficient in reading, 95% in math and 89% in science.
There were not enough students tested in writing for the state to report the score.
In all areas, though, the class as a whole scored above the state average.
That doesn’t mean the school is as good as it could possibly get, though.
“We still need to improve our reading skills at all levels,” Porter said.
Several programs are in place to help students do that.
Drop Everything And Read (DEAR) was implemented in the high school last month.
Students read a book of their choice for 20 minutes every day on a rotating class schedule.
At the junior high level, a Boys Town program called FAME (Foundations in reading, Adventures in reading, Mastery of meaning and Explorations) helps students advance their reading skills.
Accelerated Reader is used to continuously measure elementary reading abilities and push students to higher levels.
Porter said those programs all get students reading more which in turn helps improve their test scores.
In addition, the district began Response To Intervention (RTI) training for elementary teachers last year.
RTI is a system which helps staff members target at-risk students in a number of academic areas.
“It basically gives elementary teachers an hour a day to

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