FWCS makes ISTEP gains - December 03, 2007

Record Number: 3674
Displayed from: Dec 03, 2007 , until: Jan 15, 2008

ISTEP+ results for Fort Wayne Community Schools show improvement across the board with results increasing in two-thirds of the categories. Results in 11 out of 18 areas tested district wide in September went up while two more remained the same as in 2006. "This is wonderful news for our district and our community," Superintendent Dr. Wendy Robinson said. "Our staff has worked hard for years to make sure we are using the right curriculum and following the best methods to ensure that each of our students is learning. That dedication is now paying off in the form of more students passing ISTEP." In language arts, gains were made in five grade levels. In math, gains were made in four grade levels with the results staying the same in two more. In science, gains were made in both fifth and seventh grades, the only two grades tested. The gains were made at the same time as the number of students with limited English skills taking the test increased by 86 percent and the number of students in the district qualifying for free or reduced-price lunch grew to 59 percent. There were 4.2 percent more students qualifying for assistance in September 2007 than September 2006. "Educating all children to high standards is our focus," Robinson said. "Our results this year show we can do it, and we will continue to push for further improvements." FWCS is working on several initiatives focusing on academic improvement. One of the district's major focuses is on the middle and high school redesign. With the help of a $3.2 million federal grant, the district is working to make middle and high school education more rigorous and relevant to life past high school while building relationships with students that will encourage them to make the most of the academic opportunities. The district is also redesigning its Title I system, which provides services through federal funding to the schools with the highest percentages of students from low-income families. There is also a direct focus on making sure teachers are teaching the curriculum adopted by the school district and that they are working with students to meet their individual needs. "Clearly, our job is not finished," Robinson said. "We can be proud of the gains we made this year, but more importantly, we will continue to focus on making sure our students are learning so they can be successful in life and help make our community stronger."

With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 50 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.