By Guest Blogger Terri Hardy, Guidance Services Director at St. Leo Catholic School
As the Guidance Services Director at St. Leo Catholic School, I am often asked to quantify how we as a school prepare students to excel in high school and beyond. When examining our students’ performance on standardized tests, it is evident our students are performing well above the national average in the various standardized tests we administer throughout the school year.
In early October, our students in Grades 3-8 take the Stanford 10 Achievement Test which has been administered annually since 2012. This norm referenced achievement test assesses areas of reading, mathematics, language, listening comprehension, science and social science. This multiple choice standardized achievement test provides valid and reliable data needed for an objective measure of student progress, student strengths and needs, and supports instructional planning.
The test results include percentile ranks which indicate the status of relative standing of a student in comparison to other students in the nation. The scale ranges from 1 to 99 and indicates the percentage of students who earned higher or lower test scores. For example, if a student earned a percentile rank of 70 on a particular test, it means that he/she scored better than 70 percent of the students in the nation. For the past 7 years, St. Leo Catholic School students’ overall national percentile averages in total reading scores, total math scores and complete battery scores are above the 70th percentile with most recent scores at 74th percentile (reading), 73rd percentile (math) and 72nd percentile (complete battery).
Our school began using the GatesMacGinitie Reading Test (GMRT) Fourth Edition in the spring of 2011 and every year following for Kindergarten, Grade 1 and Grade 2. The GMRT is a diagnostic tool used nationally which provides teachers with additional data in identification of their students’ general level of reading achievement. The test measures each important stage of reading along the comprehension continuum from listening skills to mature reading comprehension. Our most recent administration of this test was in May 2018 and our Kindergarten class scored in the 94th percentile which is an exceptional achievement.
We are understandably very proud of our students’ performance and outcomes on nationally ranked standardized tests which demonstrate our commitment to providing a rigorous academic education to our students and give a quantifiable measure of how well we prepare our students academically.
Our mission statement truly reflects our overall goals in preparing our students for high school and beyond which is the following: “To educate the whole child within the framework of gospel values and Catholic traditions in order to develop responsible citizens of our nation and the world.” One area that is a focus of our school is following the Catholic social teachings which include caring for others and the world around us. Evidence of these teachings is noticeable within our school community and those who might visit or tour our school. Recent visitors may have noticed boxes in our hallways collecting nonperishable food items and supplies or may have seen socks hanging from the ceiling to promote Socktober both of which were drives to help victims of the recent hurricanes. This week, the fourth grade is sponsoring a bake sale to raise money for a family they adopt for Christmas. Students use the money raised to buy gifts for the family and learn firsthand the joy of giving to others.
At St. Leo Catholic School, we pray, we learn and, most importantly, we care. We value a diverse student body and welcome students of all faiths and backgrounds. Come in and set up a tour to see for yourself how well St. Leo Catholic School prepares students for success academically and spiritually within the classroom and beyond.
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St. Leo Catholic School
333 Springdale Ave.
Winston-Salem, NC 27104