Mattapoisett School Committee reflects on MCAS achievement

Oct 10, 2019

MATTAPOISETT — In light of recent achievement and recognition from the state,  Assistant Principal at both Center School and Old Hammondtown School Kevin Tavares gave a presentation on Mattapoisett students’ strong performance on the 2019 MCAS to the Mattapoisett School Committee on Oct. 10.

Positive takeaways from the 2019 test included Old Hammondtown being one of just 67 elementary schools receiving state recognition due to their high growth from last year, as well as Massachusetts Commissioner of Education referencing Mattapoisett for exceptionally high achievement.

Old Hammondtown’s recognition was based on accountability reports that measure criteria such as achievement, growth, and attendance on a four point scale. Old Hammondtown improved from a criterion referenced target percentage of 86% in 2018 to 93% in 2019. This number combines data on all measured categories into a single number between 0 and 100. Groups at 75% or higher are considered to be meeting targets.

Statewide statistics show that 52% of students in grades three through eight met or exceeded expectations on the English Language Arts tests, and 49% met or exceeded math expectations. Both schools in Mattapoisett outperformed state averages. At Center School  80% of students who took the MCAS met or exceeded state expectations in English, and 63% in math. These statistics show a 21 percentage point improvement in English from 2018, and 18 percentage points in math.

At Old Hammondtown, 73% met or exceeded English expectations, and 76% in math. In the grade 5 science test, 86% of Old Hammondtown students met or exceeded expectations, compared to the state average of just 49%.

When asked about his students’ success, Tavares previously told Sippican Week that after reviewing data from last year, teachers and staff were able to identify strengths and weaknesses to better prepare for the 2019 test. He said recent MCAS tests have asked more specific questions on comparing multiple passages of text, whereas previous tests had been more open-ended.

He also said that students began using Chromebook computers earlier on to familiarize themselves with the technology, and prepare for the online test.