For the second year in a row, St. Louis Catholic High School is administering the STAR Reading and STAR Math benchmark tests to students three times throughout the school year and effectively using the data & reports to measure student growth.

Saints English teachers Claudia Brunot and Julie Hebert said these tests have already brought about a positive impact on student learning.  For instance, August test results showed 50% of freshman students scoring at or above the benchmark, 32% on watch, and 16% needing intervention, but January’s results showed a 5% increase in freshman students meeting benchmarks and a 5% decrease in students needing intervention.

“Teachers have access to a variety of reports both by the courses and periods they teach, and individual students,” Brunot said.  “I can look by class period and see specifically which students are needing intervention or which specific students are having trouble meeting a standard we’ve already addressed.”

Hebert will join SLCHS Instructional Coach Mary Villaume and math teachers at a training March 10 to discover even more possibilities for additional individualized intervention and reteaching.  She said it is “fruitful” to see how students celebrate their improvements on the benchmarks from one test to the next.

“I know with English II last year, I had this one individual, and he saw the growth – and I think that led to, ‘I want to go check out more books in the Library!'” Hebert said.  “So he was more engaged in that silent reading time which I start my class with.  So I think that is just leverage to where you’re doing better.”

Brunot added that benchmark testing like STAR enables St. Louis Catholic to track students throughout their high school careers.

“The intent of starting it was to also be able to track longitudinally how students do, so looking at the 9th grader and how they’re performing in the 10th grade and following those results,” she said.