Nov. 4-10, 2004
By Claudia Mathis/ SUN staff writer
Catholic School Students Score Well in Math State Tests
Catholic school students of the Syracuse diocese have passed the recent state math tests with flying colors. The diocese reports that 77.5 percent of the 666 students tested in 2004 passed by scoring at levels three and four on the math eighth grade state test, with level four being the highest level.
State reports also indicate that the Syracuse catholic schools scored high in the math fourth grade statewide tests. Among our Catholic schools, 92.3 percent of 732 students scored at levels three and level four. Lesley Hughes, Director of Curriculum and Staff Development for the diocese, is very pleased. “I feel that the teachers and students are doing a wonderful job. Our teachers prepare our students well,” said Hughes.
Significantly, at Our Lady of Sorrows-Seton Middle School in Endicott, 95.2 percent of the students scored at level four on the state math fourth grade test, the second highest in the entire state. Principal John Seward attributes his school’s academic success to the parents who are very dedicated to helping their children with their homework. “The high scores represent the dedication on the part of the students, teachers, and parents. We are committed to excellence,” explained Seward. Most Holy Rosary School in Syracuse scored well, as 81 percent of the students scored at level four on the state fourth grade math test. “We’re very proud of our students, parents and teachers working together to achieve these results,” said Principal Barbara Messina. The school employs the Saxon method of teaching math, which Messina feels is very effective. The method involves a great deal of review, which builds a child’s confidence. Messina attributes their success to the fact that the teachers start the math lessons at the Pre-K level. The teachers build on what the children have learned. When this method is used, the children feel that math is familiar and doable. Messina feels very fortunate that the school has very supportive parents who work well with the teachers.
Immaculate Conception School in Fayetteville scored high, with 82 percent of the students scoring at level four of the fourth grade math test. Last year, the school started using the Scott-Foresman Math Program. Principal Sally Lisi attributes their success to starting the math program in kindergarten and incorporating word problems and thinking skills into the math routine. “I’m very proud of them. It’s been a lot of work. Every year we’ve done well. It’s a great tribute to the staff,” said Lisi. Another school that scored high is Holy Cross School in Dewitt. When the fourth graders took the math test, 67 percent of them scored at level four. Principal David Wheeler feels very fortunate to have a resource teacher at the school. The resource teacher gives individual instruction to the children who struggle with math. He feels that this instruction helps these students immensely. “We’re absolutely delighted about the high math scores. Everyone worked hard. We have great teachers,” said Wheeler.
At St. Patrick’s School in Syracuse, 46 percent of the students scored at level four when they took the fourth grade math test. Principal Cheryl Canfield believes St. Pat’s School owes its success to the teachers. The teachers’ presentations include “hands on” activities. The teachers also blend classes to participate in group activities. Statewide, 66.3 percent of the non-public students scored at levels three or four on the math eighth grade test, while 57.7 percent of public school students passed the assessment. Among Syracuse Diocesan Catholic schools, 92.3 percent of 762 students scored at levels three or level four on the fourth grade math test. Statewide, 26.4 percent of the non-public schools scored at level four, while in the Syracuse Diocese, 39.8 percent scored at the highest level. The hard work and dedication of the teachers and students of the Catholic schools in the diocese are paying off.