NJSLA summary for 2021-’22 presented at board meeting

Results show how township students performed on state tests

Chief Academic Officer Kevin Kanaus’ presentation of test data to the township board of education showed township students are slightly above the state average.

The township school district’s chief academic officer presented results from the 2021-’22 New Jersey Student Learning Assessments (NJSLA) testing at a board of education meeting on Oct. 18. 

The report from Kevin Kanaus revealed how township students did in certain subjects, like math and ELA, with results that compared how they measured up to students in the rest of the state. Last school year was the first time in three years district students were able to take the NJSLA tests, which were also done virtually.

- Advertisement -

“If you recall in March of 2020, the district and everybody else in the nation went to virtual instruction because of the pandemic,” Kanaus noted. “The last time we took the NJSLA exam prior to 2020 was the spring of 2019.

“In 2020 we went to virtual instruction and no standardized testing took place,” he added. “In 2021, no testing again, because if you recall, we were on a hybrid model where we started out the year in virtual (learning) but we came back to school on alternating days and shortened days. The state of New Jersey didn’t feel it was fair to put the students through a standardized learning task.” 

Kanaus then went on to show the scores in a slide show presentation that will be posted on the district website. In ELA, the scores gradually increased as the grade level went higher, but in math, the opposite occurred. The data from the tests show the district is slightly above the state average.

There were also subcategories that divided the students into different groups such as gender and race. As a way to improve upon what the data showed, Kanaus also presented ideas for intervention strategies to help students.

“This is a part of the problem,” he explained, “recognizing what our shortcomings are and trying to come up with a solution that lends itself to all learners. We have to get comfortable with our data. In our district, we are getting very strong and comfortable with our data.

“Our teachers have the mindset and the thought and the theory now to look at the data and not be afraid of it,” Kanaus added. “We use different instructional strategies and assessment strategies to look at the whole picture of the students and come up with a solution for how we are going to drive our instruction. We also don’t shy away from training our teachers.”

An in-service training day has been scheduled for teachers on Oct. 31, a student holiday. 

Meanwhile, the board expressed its appreciation for Kanaus’ presentation.

“I want to thank you for all the data and for all the hard work you and your team do and how you try to bring everybody up from the bottom to the top,” said board member James McDevitt III. “We appreciate what you do and how you do it. I really was impressed with your presentation.”

The next board of education meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 15, at 6:30 p.m.

- Advertisment -