High school vaults to highest level with release of MCAS scores

By Tanner Harding and Andrea Ray | Oct 18, 2017
Photo by: Georgia Sparling

Old Rochester Regional High school showed strong improvements after this year's MCAS results were announced.

The October 18 release of the test results showed that not only did the high school move up from the 57th to the 58th percentile of schools in the state, it also vaulted into place as a Level 1 school, the highest designation given by the Massachusetts Department of Education.

According to test results, the school excelled at meeting the needs of all students, and particularly those with high needs.

The high school has in previous years been ranked as a Level 2 school, an indication that it was not quite meeting its proficiency goals.

That is not the case any longer. The high school needed to score at least a 75 in performance and progress amongst all students, and a 75 amongst high-needs students in the same departments; something it managed to do this year. The high school scored a 78 in progress and performance amongst all students, and a 77 amongst high-needs students.

None of the tri-town's elementary schools have any percentile rankings this year. The reason for the data blank is the test that the elementary schools took. While the high school stuck to the traditional MCAS test, the junior high and elementary schools all sat for the "MCAS Next Generation" test.

The only portion of the test that remained "traditional" for all schools was the science portion of the test, which has not yet been added to the Next Generations test.

The Next Generations test is a hybrid of traditional MCAS and a different test, called PARCC. The tri-town elementary schools have opted to take PARCC instead of the traditional MCAS testing since 2014. This year marks the first year of the new Next Generations test, and so percentile levels are not available.

In 2016, Old Rochester Superintendent Doug White was confident that elementary school students would continue to do well on the new test, which is taken on the computer instead of administered with pencil and paper.

His confidence was not wrong, as most elementary schools continued to score well on the new test.

Old Rochester Regional Junior High School scored well; 68 percent of students met or exceeded expectations in English, while 61 percent of students scored the same way in mathematics. Fifty-two percent of students met or exceeded expectations in the science portion of the test.

Seventy-four percent of students at Old Hammondtown School in Mattapoisett met or exceeded expectations in English, while 72 percent of students scored similarly in mathematics. Sixty-four percent of students met or exceeded expectations in science.

Mattapoisett's Center School, which teaches students up to third grade, was not far behind. Sixty-nine percent of students met or exceeded expectations in English, while 73 percent scored likewise in mathematics. The school's students did not sit for the science portion of the exam.

Sippican School also received excellent scores, with 62 percent of students meeting or exceeding English expectations, and 68 percent scoring likewise in mathematics. 56 percent of students met or exceeded expectations in the science portion of the test.

Fifty-seven percent of Rochester Memorial School's students met or exceeded English expectations, while 52 percent scored the same way in mathematics. The elementary school's students scored the highest of all elementary schools in the science portion, as 69 percent of the students met or exceeded expectations in science.

The results of MCAS testing will be discussed in detail at upcoming school committee meetings.

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