Improving reading scores at SMS

Easton Gray, Draike Cutrell, and Keivan Hamilton are sixth graders at Salem Middle School. The school has changed its way of thinking in regards to improving reading skills - shorter novels and stories. 

Salem Middle School Principal Kevin Albertson shared some promising news concerning middle school reading scores with Salem Community School board members at Monday’s meeting. 

He said when students went virtual at the end of the 2020 school year, staff knew there was a reading barrier, because teachers used classroom novels. There weren’t enough to continue that with on-line learning. 

This school year Superintendent Jon Acton approved piloting a reading program that focused on shorter novels in text books. The results? Improved assessment test scores! 

Albertson said students that have taken assessment tests at the beginning and middle of the school year, show there has been a 72 percent improvement rate among sixth-grade students, a 90 percent improvement rate among seventh graders and a 67 percent improvement rate among students in the eighth grade. 

“Mr. Albertson, Mr. (Brett) Miller, and the entire staff at the middle school and the work they’re doing is remarkable,” he said. “We are seeing growth in the reading assessment data. We will have one more and our goal is to show more growth, which will move us into next year. The whole goal is to put our kids in the best position to succeed and reading is a fundamental concept.” 


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