Douglas educators praised by state |

Douglas educators praised by state

Staff Reports

Lots of animals communicate, but only humans have the faculty for language, which is why teaching it is so critical.

Douglas County’s educators received accolades from the Nevada Department of Education for their work to improve students’ scores on the state’s English Language Proficiency Assessment.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jhone Ebert applauded Douglas’ efforts which saw a 9.3 percent increase in the assessment.

“We trained our team on the Nevada School Performance Framework to ensure that everyone understands how the star ratings are determined,” Douglas Superintendent Teri White said. “In addition, we asked our site administrators to set their Nevada Educator Performance Framework goals and student learning goals to be responsive with the information they have about their students. Many of our administrators focused on improving the performance of our English learner students. The efforts were coupled with providing interventions at the elementary grades.”

Douglas County is home to four five-star rated schools, according to the state. Those include Zephyr Cove and Piñon Hills elementary schools and Douglas and Whittell high schools. Gardnerville Elementary is a four-star school.

“Great teachers and high-quality instruction helped to realize the good gains for our English learner students, but also this was a good exercise for a good number of our students as we review our preliminary star rating data.”

Ebert said that Douglas efforts benefitted not just English learners, but the entire district.

The test is the Nevada state assessment for second language English learners that helps to determine their level of English Language Proficiency. It’s given during the winter to early spring each year and is used to monitor students’ progress in acquiring academic English. EL students reaching a specified composite score on the WIDA may exit from EL services at their school with a state goal to exit students from these services within six years.

The test assesses reading, writing, speaking and listening comprehension targeting social and instructional language, language arts, language of mathematics, science and social studies.

In support of Nevada’s English learner goals and to comply with federal law, student progress on the test is a measure in the Nevada School Performance Frameworks. Student progress is measured as student adequate growth, or growth to target. Specifically, the measure consists of the percentage of students who are on track to meet the state’s exit requirements within five years.