The Gary Community School Corporation (GCSC) recently announced that all elementary and middle schools made significant gains in reading and math, based on a comparison between students’ performance in Fall 2021 and Winter 2021.
The progress is meaningful; in reading, for instance, the percentage of students performing at or above grade level doubled, rising from 9 to 20. Yet the gains also underscore how much more work remains to be done. In math, for example, the percentage of students at or above grade level rose from 2 to 9.
“The progress at all of our elementary and middle schools, in both reading and math, is a testament to the hard work of our students, staff, and families,” said Kimberly Bradley, GCSC’s Chief Academic Officer. “For years, our team has been creating the conditions for these types of academic gains, and we’re proud to see how much progress our students are making. We are deeply committed to ensuring our students recover from disruptions caused by the pandemic and have all the opportunities they deserve.”
The gains were measured by the i-Ready formative assessment, which school districts around the country administer to their students. The results indicate how far above or below students are performing in reading and math.
All seven GCSC elementary and middle schools saw increases in the percentage of students reading and doing math at or above grade level. In reading, gains ranged from 3 percent (Gary Middle School) to 13 percent (Glen Park Academy and McCullough Elementary School). In math, gains ranged from 4 percent (Bailly Middle School and Gary Middle School) to 10 percent (McCullough Elementary School).
“These scores are great news, and they represent a lot of factors coming together to help support students’ growth,” said Sharmayne McKinley, principal of McCullough Academy.
With other measures including a longer school day, better compensated staff, and improved facilities, GCSC is making strides for students and teachers to be successful.
Students at West Side Leadership Academy take a separate formative assessment, known as Edmentum, and results are reported differently. Nonetheless, GCSC high school students also made progress in both reading and in math.
The across-the-board progress comes as GCSC prepares to release its Academic Action Plan later this month. The plan is intended to connect current and future initiatives under district-wide goals that will drive continued academic gains.
“Gary residents and the State of Indiana have invested a lot in our success, and we’re proud of how we’re delivering – they deserve it,” said Bradley. “While the state intervention is about financial stability, we all know that the ultimate measure of a school district’s success is to what extent its students are learning. These results are the latest evidence that while the road is long, we are heading in the right direction.”