CCS test scores wow district staff

CCS test scores wow district staff

By Matt Mackinder
Clarkston News Editor

M-STEP test scores are up in Clarkston Community Schools at the third, fourth, and fifth grade levels.
District-wide, CCS students have shown an increase in proficiency in both math and ELA from 2021 to 2022.
Clarkston Superintendent Dr. Shawn Ryan said this is reason to celebrate.
“While these statistics alone are something to be proud of, they are even more impressive when we compare ourselves to the county and state averages that have either stayed the same or decreased,” Ryan said. “I don’t say that to shed a negative light on other districts but to showcase our success in challenging times. Our student success is not by accident. We have taken several steps to enhance our curriculum and how we serve our students. The implementation of our Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) is working. Our subject area coordinators are providing professional learning to ensure our teachers utilize the most effective practices in the classroom. These instructional practices are supplemented by additional coaches, interventionists, and aides in our elementary schools, allowing us to meet students where they are and help them reach their maximum potential.”

Clarkston Elementary kindergarteners enjoy the recent 2021-22 school year. Photo: Provided by Kelly Allen/Clarkston Community Schools

“These M-STEP scores are a powerful testament to the investment the Board of Education made in February 2021 when we approved the Multi-Tiered System of Supports,” added CCS Board of Education President Kelli Horst. “Just as we envisioned, we see gains in student proficiency and have high expectations for even more growth as the system of supports continues to work.”
In Oakland County, ELA proficiency levels for Clarkston third graders was 52 (51 for county), 54 for fourth graders (53 for county), and 53 for fifth graders (52 for county). For math, third grade levels were 52 for CCS (50 for county), 46 for both Clarkston fourth graders and the county, and 40 for all fifth graders.
“Clarkson is working hard to use the most effective practices to ensure every student can maximize their learning potential, especially in literacy and math,” said Nancy Mahoney, CCS assistant superintendent of instructional services. “We are one united team. Our teachers, coaches, interventionists, subject area coordinators, aides, psychologists, social workers, behavioral interventionists, and principals all work together to foster student success.”
Ryan noted that in the district, the focus is on the whole child.
“Throughout our district, we have psychologists, social workers, and behavior interventionists supporting our students’ needs and providing them with the appropriate tools for academic and social success,” explained Ryan. “Together these supports are building confidence in our students and showing positive results. We know our work isn’t done, and the data shows us where we still have room for improvement. As we continue our efforts at the elementary level, we are now turning our focus to secondary.”
This year, the district has added a secondary literacy coach and a math coach that will work alongside subject area coordinators.
“Our MTSS is working,” Ryan said. “To see such positive gains in just the first year of implementation, I am both proud and excited. I am proud of the efforts of our students, staff and parents, especially through such challenging times. I am equally excited to see our students achieve success beyond their expectations.”

PHOTO: The Clarkston Community Schools Board of Education gathers in late August prior to the start of the school year. From left, Stefanie Crane, Kelli Horst, Steve Hyer, Cheryl McGinnis, Greg Need, and Elizabeth Egan. Photo by Matt Mackinder

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