In response to the article written two weeks ago about the Ocean Beach School District's Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) results, I would like to tell the rest of the story about Long Beach Elementary School. The article focused on the 4th grade results from the school district and did not mention grades 3, 5 and 6. It also focused on the district's results without any separate report on Long Beach Elementary School or Ocean Park Elementary School.
In the third grade at Long Beach, 71 percent of the students met standard in the area of reading which was basically level with the state's 70 percent meeting standard. In the area of math, the third grade had 77 percent of our students meet standard compared to 68 percent at the state level. This was an outstanding achievement by our students and both the teachers and students deserve to be congratulated for their effort. These scores show a significant improvement from the previous year.
In the fifth grade, 91 percent of Long Beach students met the standard in reading. This was the highest score in the district of any grade level, and it is 16 percent higher than the state average. In the area of math, for the third straight year, Long Beach students outperformed the state with 75 percent meeting standard. Finally, in the area of science we closed the gap on the state average and had 42 percent of our students meet standard compared to 43 at the state level. This was an exceptional performance by our fifth grade students and they too, deserve recognition.
In the sixth grade we lagged behind the state average of 69 percent in reading. We also dropped below where we were last year with a showing of 52 percent of our students meeting standard. In math, the 6th grade for the third straight year was even with the state average. Forty-eight percent of our students met standard compared to the state's 49 percent.
As reported by the Chinook Observer, our fourth grade scores were below the state average in reading, writing and math. It is important for everyone to know that all scores from grades three through six are used by the state to determine if the school has met Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). Long Beach Elementary School did meet AYP in all academic areas measured by the state.
All these results tell a story of success at Long Beach Elementary School. We use the WASL results to help drive our instruction and have already begun to adjust instruction where necessary and continue our efforts where our students have found success. While the article that was written was accurate, it did not tell the whole story and in fact it painted a picture that was generally negative. There are 10 areas that are assessed in grades three through six. Out of those 10 Long Beach Elementary School is level with the state average or ahead of the state average in six areas. More importantly than how our students did in comparison with the state is the fact that they continue to improve.
As principal of the school I want my staff and my students to know how proud of them I am. The teachers at our school genuinely care about the students they serve and they show it every day. I am honored to work for and with them. My two children go to school at Long Beach and I know that they are getting an outstanding education from a world class staff.
I will be presenting our entire WASL results at Long Beach Elementary School on Sept. 23 at 6 p.m. If you would like to hear more about our successes and hear about our plans to improve in the areas that need it, please join us.
R. TODD CARPER
Long Beach Elementary School