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Budget looks good; math and reading scores need work; two board candidates introduced

Results from the first quarterly interim assessment tests shows that despite some progress, ARISE Academy Elementary Charter School students are still behind the state average in math and reading, the charter school’s board of directors learned at their October monthly meeting.

Board Chair Jen Walcott called the board meeting into order at 6:36 p.m, Oct. 19, with five other board members present: Miles Granderson, Elaine Reyes, Gary Kreigh, Tom Snedeker and Andrew Shahan. Four members of the public were also in attendance, including a reporter for The Lens.

The meeting began with an overview of the 2011-2012 budget. Board Treasurer Elaine Reyes said the quarterly budget report showed that the school was in good financial standing for the rest of the year. She added that the next budget report will show substantial savings and reduction in operating costs as the year moves forward.

Most of the hour-long meeting centered on results of the school’s interim tests in math and reading.

The first of four assessment tests was administered on Oct. 5 through Oct. 7 to kindergartners and first- and second-graders.

According to the principal’s School Leader’s Report for October, more than 60 percent of kindergarteners read below the state average.

“A lot of students are really struggling with reading … most of them never attended pre-K and that showed with our vigorous assessment tests,” Principal Andrew Shahan said. “Those students lagging behind will undergo more rigorous tests, and we will make sure they are up to speed before the next round of testing occurs.”

The report also showed that while ARISE third-graders placed above the state average in math, the students fell just below the state average in reading. Fourth graders fared no better, placing below the average in both math and reading.

The meeting concluded with an introduction of two new board member candidates, Katie Beck and Candice Frazier. A decision on new members is likely at the board’s November meeting.

The meeting was called to a close at 7:45 p.m.

The board meets again on Nov 16.



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