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GSD Scores 92% Passing Rate on MKAS2 Test

During the past spring, students across the State were administered the Mississippi K-3 Assessment Support System (MKAS2 ), required by the Literacy-Based Promotion Act passed during the 2013 legislative session.  This Act places an emphasis on grade-level reading skills, particularly as students progress through grades K-3.  Third grade students scoring at the lowest achievement level in reading on the MKAS2 will not be promoted to fourth grade unless the student qualifies for a good cause exemption.

After receiving the MKAS2 assessment scores, our students achieved a 92% pass rate!  Statewide, 32,219 students were tested and the pass rate was 87.17%, with GSD outperforming the State average by 6.83%!  We are proud of our teachers, staff, and our students for their excellent performance on this test.

Our District’s successful performance on the MKAS2 test was a result of targeted assessments and training for our students.  During the school year, we monitored students using the STAR Reading Assessment and the iReady Diagnostic Assessment, testing vehicles designed to identify children’s reading deficiencies.   Teachers and staff used the data from both assessments throughout the year to monitor student progress and to provide remediation in the students’ weakest areas.  Intense remediation was provided to those students scoring in the lower percentiles at risk of failing the MKAS2 test.

GSD students received differentiated instruction and a variety of interventions to improve student learning.  Implementing the following strategies prepared our third graders for the MKAS2 test: an extra block of guided reading time was initiated, extra personnel were placed in classrooms to assist teachers during reading classes, before and after school tutoring was expanded, practice tests were utilized, a new computer lab was added to facilitate individualized instruction with the use of STAR and iReady, and consultants presented a “Reading Boot Camp” comprised of centers providing intense remediation.

Two hundred ninety-one of the three hundred sixteen of our third graders passed the MKAS2 test.  Using consultants, the students who did not score well were grouped into four areas and spent a complete day rotating through different centers. Nineteen students were retested on May 18th and eight additional students passed the test. (Several students had good cause exemption.) The remaining students were enrolled in summer school and received intense remediation, retesting again on June 29.  At the time of the printing of this newspaper, the scores had not become available. These students must pass the MKAS2 test in order to be promoted to the fourth grade.

Diligent preparation enabled GSD to score significantly above the State MKAS2 scores. Our teachers, administrators, and staff provided continuous guidance and remediation using data and appropriate strategies.  Our District constantly strives to prepare our students for upcoming testing requirements, appropriate achievement levels, and foundations for each level of achievement.

photo of Dr. David Daigneault