SMCPS Ranks First in Alt-MSA Reading and Math

LEONARDTOWN, Md. (Aug. 5, 2010)—The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) has released the data on district and school performance for the Maryland Alternative Assessment (Alt-MSA). St. Mary's County Public Schools (SMCPS) has posted the highest percentage of students who achieved proficient and advanced scores for reading and math in the State of Maryland. In reading, 97.3 percent of students were proficient/advanced, and in math, 94.6 percent of students were proficient/advanced. These scores are also higher than the state overall rates of proficient/advanced in reading and in math. The state scores were 87.7 percent for reading and 82.3 percent for math.

"These results represent the hard work of students and the dedication of administrators, special educators and instructional assistants, general educators, instructional resource teachers, and related services staff who all form Test Examiner Teams around each and every student assessed through Alt-MSA," said Dr. Michael J. Martirano, superintendent of schools.

The Alternate MSA (Alt-MSA) is the Maryland assessment in which students with significant cognitive disabilities participate if through the IEP process it has been determined they cannot participate in the Maryland State Assessment (MSA) even with accommodations. Alt-MSA assesses and reports student attainment of individually selected indicators and objectives from the reading and mathematics content standards. Alt-MSA is a year-long process of assessment that includes the development of individual portfolios of student performance in Reading, Math, and Science. Students in Grades 3 through 8 and Grade 10 are assessed each year as part of the No Child Left Behind act of 2001 (NCLB). Alt-MSA scores are included in school system Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) reports.

"The leadership and hands on support to each site from our special education supervisors has made a dramatic difference in helping attain the scores we are achieving," said Melissa Charbonnet, executive director of special education and student services. "This high level of achievement is reflective of the rigor of instruction and the individualized supports to each student that allow them to demonstrate such high levels of mastery."

Detailed data on school and district performance can be found on the MSDE website:

Source: St. Mary's County Public Schools (SMCPS)

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