District MCA averages remain above state averages in Math and Reading

The spring Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) test results were released this week. White Bear Lake Area Schools’ average proficiency rates remained above the State rates in Reading and Math for Spring 2022, with Reading scores at 55.2% and Math scores at 48.3%. Science scores dipped slightly below the state at 40.8%. WBLAS grade 5 had the highest proficiency rate in Reading (64.1%), while the district’s Grade 3 was highest in Math (59.3%) and Grade 5 topped district Science scores (47.5%).

“While we are glad to see most of our scores remain above the state average, this data release provides us with important information about areas in which we need additional focus and supports,” said Dr. Wayne Kazmierczak, Superintendent of White Bear Lake Area Schools. “We know the disruption that has occurred since the spring of 2020 has affected our learners, and our teachers and administrators continue to make adjustments in order to meet the needs of each of our students.”

Some of the adjustments have been ones proactively put into place this summer. WBLAS coordinated and implemented a robust set of summer programming for a wide variety of students in grades K-12. Over the summer, teams of teachers and administrators worked together to plan for content, credit, and grade recovery, particularly at the high school level.

“We use data such as the MCA along with a variety of additional data points to ensure students are learning and growing,” said Dr. Alison Gillespie, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning. “We are encouraged that our internal screening data shows the positive trend that students experienced learning recovery from fall to spring. We will continue to build on these successes of our students.”

This year, the state also released North Star Accountability Measures, which are completed every three years. The system identifies schools for support or recognition based on grade-band targets in math and reading achievement and growth, English language proficiency of EL students, four-year and seven-year graduation rate, and consistent attendance. Two district schools were identified for support. ALC was identified for comprehensive support due to the overall and student group 4-year graduation rate being below the identification threshold. Willow Lane Elementary was identified for Targeted Support due to the academic progress and achievement measures for two student groups: special education students and students eligible for free and reduced lunch being below the identification threshold.

Building teams will spend time analyzing the data recently received from the 2021-22 school year, along with the data they collect from academic and social-emotional screeners this fall, in order to evaluate the needs of students and adjust instruction and intervention during the upcoming school year.

“Learning takes time and effort for both the students and the adults, but we know our students can accomplish great things and we remain committed to helping them reach their full potential,” said Kazmierczak. “We are excited to nurture learning in and out of our classrooms, and to support students in all they wish to learn and be.”