Wellington Elementary Sees Great Growth in Reading and Math


Carbon School District Press Release

The old saying about education is that it consists of the basics: reading, writing and arithmetic. At Wellington Elementary, reading has been a top priority this year and it shows.

We have had great growth this year,” said Paulie Vogrinec, the Principal at Wellington Elementary. “We have seen many students make up everything they lost from the pause in school last year, and then some.”

And reading is at the top of that list.

At the beginning of the year, about six percent of the kids were reading at their end-of-year grade level,” said Vogrinec. “This can be kind of confusing for people to understand because we gauge their level by where they should be at the end of the year, not where they presently are. So, those numbers can be deceiving.”

Consequently, when people hear that six percent, they think that may seem low, but everyone needs to remember that students have the entire school year to reach that grade level goal, with experience and growth still to come over the nine months they have left in the school year. A fifth grader, for instance, is evaluated in September for a level they do not necessarily have to achieve until May.

I think our teachers sometimes get a little frustrated with the percentages, but it’s the levels students have achieved that is most important,” stated Vogrinec. “I spent some substantial time on this during our professional development day, showing our staff how much students have grown school-wide. Our students have achieved over 600+ levels this year.”

Math is also going well, Vogrinec said.

We are using a program that the district purchased called Reflex Math and the students love it,” she said.

Reflex Math was a purchase by the district to help supplement the elementary Carbon Online curriculum. The need for students to learn and practice their basic math facts in a developmentally appropriate way is so important. This program has been used in some parts of the district, but not all schools were using it. Vogrinec said that the program has been well received by the students with its game-like platform.

Vogrinec said everyone realizes how important it is for fifth graders to meet basic math levels so when they move onto middle school they have their math facts down. Otherwise, they will struggle in that new environment, which is entirely different from elementary school.

How students behave is another goal that was set by the school this year. Wellington Elementary uses “hero points’ to reward students. It is part of the positive behavior system the school utilizes. For instance, the teachers give the students points when they are following directions or class/school procedures; i.e. when they are “caught being good.” Then, the students get to cash in those points for various premiums from pencils to school shirts.

There are a wide range of things they can get for those points and some even trade them to spend some time working with me,” she concluded.

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