Deptford Township Chief Academic Officer Kevin Kanauss presented the results of the New Jersey Student Learning Assessment (NJSLA) spring tests to the board of education during its meeting Oct. 29.
The results represented grades three to 10.
As part of a requirement for all state public school districts, students in grades three to 11 are tested in literacy and mathematics to assess how well they are meeting grade-level NJSLA standards.
In the English Language Arts (ELA) test, data from the last three years shows students are producing better results across the district.
“There’s been remarkable growth in ELA across the district,” said Kanauss.
Among the biggest changes in math scores was a 30.6 percent decrease in district students performing in the lowest two grading levels for the Algebra 1 portion. The result is more students are performing at a level of efficiency or above.
Staff in the district use the data to identify strengths and gaps that exist in the curriculum and instruction. By looking at the results, the district considers where additional resources are needed.
“With all the data we have, we are just trying to find out where we can help students individually,” Kanauss explained.
One of those resources is individualized instruction. In the past, the district performed differentiated instruction, which grouped students together based on common expectations. Now the district says it has enough data and tools to individualize instruction to meet student needs.
One of those tools is the Chromebook, which the district recently began implementing within its schools to add an extra set of resources for teachers. Kanauss explained that such tools allow teachers to provide additional resources based on individual needs.
“We’re individualizing instruction during the lesson to give the students what they need at that moment, and it’s becoming the extra set of hands that the teachers don’t have,” he said.
The next BOE meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., Nov. 19, at the administration building, 2022 Good Intent Road.