By Dave Fidlin


Efforts to close the achievement gap within Whitewater’s Washington Elementary School have brought positive results, according to recently released data.

At the close of the first half of the 2019-20 school year in January, Washington students were well on their way to meeting a benchmark 80 percent achievement goal, Principal Tom Grosinske said.

Washington has been zeroing in on narrowing its achievement gap for a number of years, and Grosinske goes before the Whitewater Unified School District’s School Board to provide updates on efforts for the current school year.

“We’re pretty happy with how things are rolling,” Grosinske said at WUSD’s most recent regular School Board meeting, held Feb. 24.

In many metrics, by grade level, Grosinske reported to the School Board about 70 percent of students are meeting the prescribed criteria overall.

In a few instances, students managed to go beyond the 80 percent benchmark midway through the year.

For example, 96 percent of first-graders were able to meet a goal calling on students to show comprehension of a story by retelling details from the beginning, middle and end.

But other goals were lagging at the mid-year mark.

For example, 13 percent of third-graders were able to recite division facts, based on a metric calling on a score of 90 percent or higher on 50 problems within a three-minute timed test.

While the achievement gap goal is an ongoing exercise within Washington Elementary School, Grosinske said the framework is consistent year-to-year.

“We’ll change things up, depending on what we’re doing, but we’re pretty consistent on the percentage,” Grosinske said, referring to the 80 percent metric. “If we’re under it, that’s OK, and if we’re over it, we choose to celebrate a little bit.”


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