Barrington Superintendent of School Michael Messore was not really surprised by the NECAP science scores released by the Rhode Island Department of Education last week.
The New England Common Assessment Program test scores put local students on top overall and in two of the three grades tested in Rhode Island.
“I know that we made some significant gains this year,” Messore said. “I’m very happy about that.”
Barrington’s #1 overall ranking was earned with 7 out of the 10 fourth-, eighth- and 11th-grade students who took the assessment test scoring as “proficient with distinction” or “proficient.”
The two older classes of students ranked #1 in Rhode Island with 70.5 and 68 percent proficiency, respectively; the Hampden-Meadows fourth-graders ranked third but actually had a higher percentage of proficiency at 77.5 percent.
Hampden Meadows School ALSO was one of four elementary schools in RI that made “statistically significant” improvements this year by going from 65 to 78 percent proficiency in one year.
“I would never expect a double-digit increase,” Messore said.
But that's what occurred at Hampden Meadows and Barrington High, where thejuniors also scored a double-digit increase – from 57 to 68 percent proficiency. East Greenwich High scored next highest overall at about 63 percent.
Barrington Middle School students led the way by testing at almost 71 percent proficiency. North Kingstown’s Wickford Middle School was next at about 69 percent; Chariho Regional Middle School was next at 56.2 percent.
Messore said science was a focus of work over the past year. Some curriculum changes were made.
“I’m pleased with the amount of improvement,” he said. “With further concentration, I think we can increase those scores.”
“There is still room for us to grow,” he said. “We just need to do a deeper analysis to uncover areas of further growth."
Messore said Barrington is already taking some new steps to improve the science scores. Professional development is one of those steps, he said.