STEM

North Kingstown High School chemistry teachers Susan Erikson (left) and Richard Sweetman (right) participate in a training session from the East Bay Educational Collaborative through a grant funded by the Office of Naval Research. The NKHS chemistry department received a $20,000 grant for supplies and training through the program. 

 

NORTH KINGSTOWN – Last week, the department of education released the Rhode Island Comprehensive Assessment System (RICAS) results for grades three through eight, showing modest improvements on a statewide average and in the North Kingstown School District. 

North Kingstown was also shown to be one of the highest performing districts in the state. 

RICAS is Rhode Island’s implementation of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS), the assessment tool of the nation’s highest-performing state for public education. Starting last year, Rhode Island decided to administer RICAS to allow the state to be easily compared to the results of Massachusetts’ system. 

Because this was the second year of administering RICAS to Rhode Island students, school officials on a state and local level expected some improvement from last year, which ultimately showed to be true in the results for spring 2019. 

The statewide average showed that 38 percent of Rhode Island students were proficient in English and only 30 percent in math, a roughly 5 percent increase in English and 2.5 percent increase in math. On the state level, Rhode Island still fell far behind Massachusetts, with the neighboring state showing roughly 52 percent proficiency in English and 48 percent in math.

While North Kingstown increased their proficiency averages from last year about the same amount as Rhode Island, the school district continued to perform much higher than the statewide average, showing increases in every school in the district. 

In fact, North Kingstown was one of the highest performing districts in the state, with 59.7 percent proficiency in English, the fifth-highest district in the state, and 50.7 percent proficiency in math, the fourth-highest district. 

Compared to last year, North Kingstown proficiency rates increased by 5 percent in English and 3 percent in math. 

Along with strong overall numbers, North Kingstown also had some highlights on a school-based level as well. 

Hamilton Elementary showed to be the highest-performing elementary school in English and the second-highest performing in Math, while Wickford Middle proved to be the second highest Rhode Island middle school in both subjects. 

Fishing Cove Elementary, Stony Lane Elementary, Quidnessett Elementary and Davisville Middle all saw increases in English and math assessments, as well, all much higher than the state average.

In an email, North Kingstown Superintendent Philip Auger commended everyone involved for their commitment to “continual academic improvement.”

“I want to commend the educators, parents and students of North Kingstown School Department for their commitment to continual academic improvement,” Auger wrote. These results are one of many assessments we use to measure our effectiveness, and they show North Kingstown to be very strong relative to the rest of Rhode Island.”

Though the RICAS results were strong for North Kingstown, Auger said the school district was still intent on improving.

“Even with that, we still feel we have much upon which to improve,” he continued. “Our educators are already hard at work analyzing the results with an eye on how we can fine tune instruction and programming for more improvements going forward.”

Assistant superintendent Denise Mancieri will make a detailed presentation on North Kingstown’s RICAS results during a school committee meeting on Nov. 19. Detailed state and district results can be found on the school department’s website, www.nksd.net.

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