Pau-Wa-Lu middle wins $24,000 grant |

Pau-Wa-Lu middle wins $24,000 grant

by Merrie Leininger, Record Courier

About 70 students at Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School have the opportunity to raise their math test scores with the help of a $24,054 grant.

PWLMS received the grant from the Wells Fargo Nevada Foundation in December and the school immediately hired a teacher.

Adam Dedmon is now running a math lab that uses a computer program to determine which areas of math are a problem for the students.

The “focusing on mathematics” program will provide additional time and opportunity for students to gain the math skills required to meet the requirements of the Nevada High School Proficiency Examination, Douglas County School District competencies and middle school requirements.

The students remain in their regular math classes, but replace an elective with the math lab, which started two weeks ago. They are tested with a computer program that the school purchased for $4,000.

The program identifies areas the student has difficulty in, then creates a printout for the teacher and worksheets for the student.

The class, which will only be held this semester, has less than 15 students each period; some have only seven or eight, Principal Robbin Pedrett said.

“It gives more time to the student. The goal was to identify problem areas. If a student moved around a lot or was sick for a grade, this program will identify their problem, which may be as simple as they don’t know the multiplication tables. When they go back to the regular math class, hopefully they will have more success,” Pedrett said.

She said math was targeted by the school because PWLMS staff have recently seen gains in reading scores because of a similar computer program and wanted to do the same with math.

Figures reported to the grant committee show 34 percent of 7th graders were below the average score on the math portion of the spring 2000 achievement level test. Thirty-one percent of 8th graders were below the average score and 34 percent of the 9th graders were below the average score.

Pedrett said students who were among those scoring below the average score on the ALTs or had poor performance in math classes were assigned to the math lab. The students’ next attempt at the ALT will be used to determine if the lab was successful.

She said if some money from the grant is left over in June, it might be used toward math classes in summer school. However, the math lab will end at the conclusion of this semester when the funds to pay for the extra teacher are gone.

“We will document the results and see if there are the big successes it has the potential for, and then maybe we will apply for the grant again,” Pedrett said.

She thanked Wells Fargo for the money.

“We’re thrilled to have it and look forward to the opportunity to raise test scores. Thank you to Wells Fargo for recognizing the schools have needs,” Pedrett said.