Results of the Maine Educational Assessment show Wiscasset schools were below state average in English, math and science, except at Wiscasset Middle High School where English scores slightly exceeded the state average.
District curriculum coordinator Patricia Watts shared results of the 2017-18 testing with the school committee Tuesday night. Watts provided a chart showing how Wiscasset schools have tested over the past three years and how this year’s scores compared to the state averages. Percentages illustrated how the elementary and high schools fared individually and combined. Wiscasset Elementary School students scored best in science being just a few percentage points away from meeting the state average.
WMHS scored highest in English where students slightly exceeded the state MEA average. The high school was below the 2017-18 MEA state averages in both math and science.
The worst test scores for both schools were in math. The elementary school’s percentage was less than half the state average while the high school was nearly 10 points below the MEA mathmatics average.
“We have some work to do. We can do better and we will do better,” Watts said.
School Superintendent Terry Wood said the math scores were her biggest concern. She told the school committee going forward the MEA results will serve as the basis for the school department’s strategic planning.
“I think we’d all be in agreement these test scores are not good enough for Wiscasset,” she said.
One staff member noted roughly 25 percent of Wiscasset’s student body was made up of special education students, who typically struggle with testing.
The committee accepted the resignation of elementary school teacher Marsha Emery and approved hiring Becky Hallowell to teach grade 4. She has previously taught in the school system. Jamie Jones was hired as varsity boys basketball coach and Neal Goldberg as jayvee boys basketball coach. Basketball practice begins Nov. 19 for both the boys and girls.
Wood said fire drills involving the Wiscasset Fire Department Oct. 30 went very smoothly in both schools. Wood noted the first reading of the school system’s disciplinary policy would be at the December meeting. The committee will also firm up dates to begin work on the 2019-2020 budget. School committee members Desiree Bailey and Michelle Blagdon attended the MSMA fall conference with the superintendent. Blagdon focused on special education topics while Bailey participated in a workshop focusing on school budgeting.