Cheney Free Press -


By Al Stover
Staff Reporter 

Medical Lake students show growth in NWEA testing


Medical Lake School District students continue to increase their reading and math scores.

Kim Headrick, director of teaching and learning, unveiled Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) math and reading test scores for the 2013-14 school year at the June school board meeting.

Headrick explained that all-day kindergarten was at 100 percent growth for reading and 99 percent in math scores for the first year in Medical Lake.

“A lot of these kids are outgrowing their grade level in reading and math and are ready for the next level,” Headrick said.

In addition to kindergarten, second, third and fifth-grade reading test scores also increased. Fourth-grade scores remained at 64 percent while first-grade scores dropped from 73 to 71 percent.

For middle school, sixth and eighth-grade reading scores dropped slightly. Seventh-grade scores were at 68 percent, a 14 percent increase from last year.

At the high school level, freshmen reading scores jumped from 38 to 57 percent, while sophomore scores increased from 46 to 63 percent.

In math test scores, first, third and fourth-grade scores increased. Fifth-grade had a 20 percent growth, going from 57 to 77 percent. Second-grade math scores dropped 3 percent.

Sixth-grade math scores dropped 3 percent while seventh-grade scores increased by 2 percent. Eighth-grade scores had an 18 percent increase, going from 63 to 81 percent.

At the high school level, freshman math scores went down 4 percent while sophomore scores jumped from 52 to 67 percent.

Headrick said the alternative school showed 100 percent growth and proficiency in reading, and 50 percent growth and proficiency in math.

Headrick explained that this year’s testing and data was based on Common Core standards, which is different from last year. She said students, as well as teachers, have transitioned smoothly into the Common Core.

“Our students were prepared for the challenge,” Headrick said.

One factor that contributed to growth in testing is principals and teachers worked together to come up with strategies to prepare students. They are also coming up with methods to tackle any decline in growth, which include providing additional instruction time for students.

Headrick said the NWEA test is a litmus test that is identifying areas where students are strong, as well as areas where they may need help. She added that teachers and principals continue to develop strategies that align with Common Core standards. They are also looking at using methods that are already successful and applying them into areas where students need improvement.

Al Stover can be reached at


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