How a low-performing OPS school turned around

Posted at 9:44 AM, Sep 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-28 10:44:41-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - Lisa Olsen’s third grade class is doing math problems, giving the right answers and re-tracing their steps with the wrong ones.


The method is similar to how Druid Hill Elementary approaches student performance, said Mandy Moraine, an instructional facilitator.


"We evaluate the [work to see] who has it? Who doesn't have it?” she says. “If we have students who don't have it, then how do we get them there?"


To assess where a student is at, the school participated in a pilot program last year in which students from kindergarten to third grade took the MAP Test, an exam that measures their math and reading abilities.


Students take the exam in addition to the state standardize test, Nebraska State Accountability or NeSA.


"The state test measures proficiency, whereas MAP Test is measuring growth,” Morraine says.



Taking the computerized test three times a year, the program provides immediate feedback for teachers and students.


If a student answers correctly, the exam will automatically prompt the next question to be harder. If incorrectly, the test will stay on the concept until a student masters it.



The additional examinations could be adding up to tangible progress. Recently, the state removed the extra oversight as it struggled with NeSA scores in previous years.



The pilot test is now offered throughout Omaha Public Schools, says Moraine, testing students from kindergarten to 10th grade.