Norrisville pupils meet state reading standards

All testers in third grade score proficient or better

August 22, 2004|By Artika Rangan | Artika Rangan,SUN STAFF

Under the federal No Child Left Behind standards, all students in the country must score proficient or advanced on their state's test by the 2013-2014 school year ---- a challenge that the 22 third-graders at Norrisville Elementary School in White Hall already have accomplished in reading.

Each Norrisville child scored proficient or better on last spring's Maryland State Assessment's reading section. In math, 81.8 percent of the third-graders scored at the proficient or advanced level. Eighty-eight percent of the school's fifth-graders scored proficient or better in math, and 94 percent scored proficient or better in reading.

"Our motto here is `Where bright futures begin,' " said Norrisville Principal Duane E. Wallace. "Everybody that works here contributes to the success, including parents and community members."

Wallace attributes the school's high MSA performance to many factors.

Teachers provide about 10 to 12 children with small-group instruction for more than a half-hour each day, he said. In addition to the reading series required by the county, Norrisville teachers and reading specialists choose about 10 extra books a year to read.

About 200 pupils are enrolled in Norrisville Elementary School, which runs from kindergarten to fifth grade.

Donald R. Morrison, spokesman for Harford County public schools, said Norrisville's achievement on the MSA can be partly attributed to the school's small population.

"It's a tremendous accomplishment, no doubt," he said. "But when you have a small number of students in a grade, one or two students can make the difference between 90 percent and 100 percent."

But Wallace hopes to see all pupils scoring at 100 percent.

"The national goal is to have 100 percent of the students scoring proficient or better," he said. "Our goal here is to have 100 percent of the kids score advanced or better."

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