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New Salem - April 25, 2007

Counselor’s Corner


By
Dr. Gaylynn Becker, LPCC
National Certified Career Counselor
National Certified School Counselor
New Salem High School

Blue Ribbon School Nomination!
Congratulations New Salem High School Students for being nominated as a U. S. Department Of Education Blue Ribbon School! On page 13of the application was a section that dealt with our verifying that New Salem High School required a foreign language as a core education course for the entry level grade at New Salem High School. When I called the contact person from the United State Department of Education in Washington, D.C. for clarification, she said that we must require every seventh grade student in our school to take a foreign language for a full academic year just as we do for mathematics, English, and science. If we do not require this, then we would not receive the “Blue Ribbon School” designation. Oh, so close. Yes, I felt quite sad when I heard that.

However, it feels very good to know that New Salem High School is doing very well academically based on the North Dakota State Assessment. At least some people in Washington, D.C. have heard about New Salem High School in a very positive manner. These students academic achievement is awesome! I hope they continue to do well in academics and in life.

I think what is critical for the education of our students is not the size of the school but rather:

1. Students trying to do their best in both academics and all activities;

2. Teachers caring about students and who deliver a good, sound, and challenging curriculum;

3. Parents supporting the school by seeing to it that students do their homework and come to school ready to learn; and of course the

4. Community supporting the school and our students.
I see all of the above in New Salem. Lets all keep up the great effort!

North Dakota State Assessment Results
North Dakota State Assessment (NDSA) results were recently returned to schools across North Dakota. Our students in grades 3-8 and 11 took the NDSA in October and November of 2006. Below are the 2006-2007 North Dakota State Assessment results for North Dakota and New Salem Public School.

2006-2007 New Salem Public School District
North Dakota State Assessment Results


Percent of Students Proficient & Advanced
.............Reading ....................Mathematics
Grade ...ND .....New Salem .....ND .....New Salem

3 ...........81 ......69 ..................85 .......89
4 ...........81 ......82 ..................79 .......73
5 ...........75 ......75 ..................81 .......90
6 ...........78 ......76 ..................82 .....100
7 ...........80 ......82 ..................77 .......93
8 ...........75 ......87 ..................66 .......86
11 .........72 ......80 ..................57 .......65

The percentages listed above are the percentages of students who scored at the proficient and advanced levels on the North Dakota State Assessment. Our students continue to score very well on the North Dakota State Assessments! Yes!

Thanks to the teachers and parents for their efforts in teaching our students and supporting the teachers at New Salem Schools! Again, our students do well! I do not believe that it is by chance that this is occurring. It is a result of the New Salem community. Keep up the great effort to all groups – including our cooks who every year (during statewide testing) do extra work in preparing our students with a mid morning snack. I know this helps our students keep a positive attitude towards the state assessment and it provides them energy to do their best!

Of course, congratulations to our students for putting forth a great effort in all areas: academics, athletics, all school activities, and as responsible citizens too! Keep up with the great effort and this will help you to realize your dreams as well!

How Do New Salem Public School Students Score Compared To The Rest Of The Country?
Our students do well compared to the rest of North Dakota but how do we compare to the rest of the country? This is the third year that we are unable to answer this question. The reason is that we no longer receive norm-referenced score results on the North Dakota State Assessment. In other words, we no longer are receiving results with which to compare individual students to the rest of the country. In addition, neither are we able to compare New Salem Public Schools to the rest of the country.

Comparing our students to the rest of the nation is an important indicator of student achievement. I wish our state education leaders would value this indicator of student achievement for our students, parents, teachers, and community.

If you have any questions on the North Dakota State Assessment results for New Salem Public Schools, please contact either Mr. Gordon Davis, superintendent or Dr. Gaylynn L. Becker, district assessment coordinator.

Students Receive State Assessment Reports
I presented each student in grades 7, 8 and 11 2 copies of their North Dakota State Assessment (NDSA) results. I also provided an explanation of everything on the report. One copy of the NDSA was given for each student’s Career Planning Portfolio and one copy to take home and explain the results to their parents. In addition, parents received a copy of the NDSA results with their children’s report card during Parent Teachers’ conference.

If you have any questions on your child’s state assessment report, please ask either your student or contact me at New Salem High School. Thanks for your cooperation and partnership in helping New Salem Public Schools deliver the best education possible for our students!

For more information on student achievement results, please contact me at New Salem High School at 843-7610 or at my residence at 222-3222.

Have an excellent academic day!