The school district has a bright future, according to Leo Lawyer, Neah-Kah-Nie Middle School principal.
By Jordan Wolfe
“We were pleased with our outcomes,” Lawyer said, “We continue to provide a world-class education for our community here and the data backs that up. We eclipse the state average in all academic categories, even the areas where we don’t score as well.”
The eighth grade class of 2017 increased their math passing percentage on the SBAC (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium; a state test) by 30 percent, according to Lawyer.
“That is amazing growth as a cohort group,” he said.
However, in Language Arts and math, the seventh grade group has room to grow.
“Overall, their success level isn’t where we want it to be,” Lawyer said.
Even though the group is not where the school would like them to be, Lawyer added the school had very strong growth in those areas compared to like-schools in the state.
At Neah-Kah-Nie High School, Principal Dr. Heidi Buckmaster reported the biggest eye-openers for her school: Students with disabilities at the school were on track better than 95 percent of the rest of the state.
The school district, in fact, has a higher number of students with disabilities than expected, according to Paul Erlebach.
The percentage of Students with Disabilities is 13 percent at grades K-3, 20 percent at grades 4-5, and 19 percent at grades 6-8.
Superintendent Paul Erlebach said the most improved areas for the district were: 97.3 percent of high school students earned a regular, modified, extended, or adult high school diploma or completed a GED within five years of entering high school compared to 91.8 percent in 2015-16. 67.6 percent of fifth graders met or exceeded in science last year compared to 48.4 percent the prior year. 10.2 percent of tenth graders exceeded the science benchmark compared to 5.1 percent the prior year.
“The state report card does not show the passion for teaching, professionalism, patience, and compassion for students, of Garibaldi Grade School teacher Melinda Rumage and her colleagues,” Erlebach said, “A state report card does not show the growth of first year teacher Kate Romanov or the dedication of veteran math teacher Cynthia Grelck. If the state report card engages students, parents, and the community in a conversation about the celebrations and concerns in schools and school districts, there is value in the report card.”