Mag schools hand out awards before meeting

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Magdalena elementary, middle school and high school students were honored in a Scholars Awards ceremony on Dec. 16, just prior to the school board meeting, for testing and other academic achievements. The scholar awards are based on test scores required by the state, and on academic achievements based on goals set by the teachers and students.

The school board heard from the head teachers during the meeting following the awards ceremony, with reports of student progress as reported through state and federally-mandated testing, and through other measures they are employing, including the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills — DIBELS — testing.

In the middle school, 70 percent or more of 6th grade students have shown 2 points of growth or better. DIBELS progress monitoring was completed by Dec. 19. Benchmark assessments will take place Jan. 6 through 16.

Twenty high school seniors took the Standards Based Assessment in October, high school head teacher Carmen Torres reported. High school students also conducted a food drive and put together food boxes for 12 families in Magdalena and Alamo for the holidays.

Students are not the only ones being evaluated at the school. The school board selected an evaluation form during the meeting that will be used in performing the superintendent’s evaluation. The format includes an opportunity for teachers and other staff to provide input.

In other business, the school board is working to address a problem with their state audit and the auditor who prepared the report last year. The state auditor’s office rejected the school’s audit, indicating that the report was severely deficient. There were 16 findings by the state, Superintendent Mike Chambers reported.