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STAR Assessments Success Stories

Student confidence up, discipline referrals down in Ohio school.

On the way home from a recent conference, Donna Ginn and a colleague from Batavia Middle School, Batavia, Ohio, were commenting that they hadn’t seen as many of the familiar faces in the office lately for discipline referrals. She made a note to run the specific numbers at year-end, but she knows referrals are down from this time last year—and attendance is already up 2 percent.

“We’re sure there’s a direct correlation between these improvements and what we’re doing with STAR data this year,” said Ginn, a 17-year veteran at Batavia but new in her role as Title I Teacher and RTI Coordinator. “Since implementing STAR Reading and STAR Math this fall as screening tools for RTI, we're better able to target and work with kids on their levels, and this is increasing their confidence and desire to be here."

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Data is the key to pinpointing every student’s perfect learning zone.

There are two key questions that drive student success at Pennsylvania’s Dover Area School District: “How do we assist students who have not demonstrated mastery of the competencies?” and “How do we assist those students who have demonstrated mastery and require accelerated learning plans?”

The district’s efforts to address remediation and acceleration began in 2006 with launching Response to Intervention (RTI)—followed by Response to Instruction and Intervention (RTII). Director of Curriculum Instruction Dr. Sue Kanigsberg said this ultimately prompted the district to seek aligned, research-based interventions that would also guide instruction. In their meticulous quest, one name kept surfacing—STAR.

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New Mexico teacher sees immense value in new STAR reports.

As a computer lab teacher at Milan Elementary in New Mexico, Jane Williams helps students—and teachers—get the most out of technology. Williams supports the many Renaissance Place products used at the school, offering troubleshooting and tips on accessing and reading reports.

She can’t wait to share the latest STAR capabilities with teachers. “I’m excited about the changes in STAR and feel that the new reports will be very beneficial to our students, staff, and parents,” said Williams, who recently attended professional development on the updates. “The validity and ease of creating reports is crucial to our school district. We rely on this data for so many reasons in today’s educational setting.”

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STAR data is a crucial piece for aiding educators in all three Response to Intervention stages.

Paula Defley, Education Strategist in Special Education for Louisiana’s Plaquemines Parish Schools, will never forget when Hurricane Katrina destroyed six of their nine schools and every home.

Educational consultant Scott Johnson also witnessed the significant psychological, geographical, and emotional effects on nearly every district in Katrina’s path. But he points to a positive that emerged from the devastation.

“For the most part, all of the schools have increased their collective performance on accountability scales since the storm,” said Johnson, who aids Plaquemines Parish Schools and other districts with the application of data to response to intervention (RTI) efforts. “I attribute these growth factors to more money and better training plans, but most importantly, districts have learned the value in ‘knowing’ the facts—data.”

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