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Test takers impressed with Compass Learning

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On-demand writing scores continue upward trend

By Thomas Barr

 SHEPHERDSVILLE - The five members of the Bullitt County Public School Board, as well as superintendent Keith Davis, were hard at work.

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After spending over $700,000 on the new Compass Learning program, board members might as well see what they spent their money on.

No test scores were released but there were a lot of smiles from members as they liked what they saw on the computer screens.

During its quarterly academic update meeting, Greg Schultz, assistant superintendent for student learning, had the opportunity to unveil the Compass Learning program, as well as some recent results from on-demand writing.

“This is highly engaging,” Schultz said of the Compass Learning.

The assessment program takes the MAP testing and goes a step further, said Schultz.

The program is just now being introduced throughout the school system and Schultz said it would be a wonderful tool to help student learning.

With their ID passwords, Schultz said students would be able to access the program at their home computers. He expects students to spend 60-90 minutes a week on the program.

Board chairman Gary Wooldridge was impressed with the reading lesson he had just completed.

And board member Dolores Ashby said students are very aware of their MAP scores and that is a sense of pride...and competition.

Wooldridge would like to see parents get more involved with the Compass Learning program at home.

While the board members enjoyed taking the sample lessons, Schultz would rather talk about on-demand writing scores.

“They’re all up,” said Schultz. “Our schools are moving forward.”

He said the on-demand writing is a better gauge of being able to cope with everyday life. The portfolios were more samples of things such as poetry and essays.

In the preliminary data just released, Schultz said the three-year trend of on-demand writing scores continued to improve.

Seniors take the on-demand tests each year and Bullitt Central principal Christy Coulter said the trick is making sure the students give their best effort.

Debby Atherton, principal at Bullitt East, said the scores improved and they should continue to grow as even bigger changes were put into place this year.

Another portion of the academic meeting was to present the district’s corrective plan, which is required since it did not meet the federal No Child Left Behind act.

Overall, Schultz said the plan had few major changes as the scores have improved in all areas. The district has made big gains in the area of special education.