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Compass working to elevate math scores

GRANDVIEW - Students at Compass High School in Grandview will begin participating in school-wide math practice this year.

That's part of the 2012-13 school improvement plan at the alternative high school, due to poor math scores from statewide testing. Last year, 11 percent of Compass High School students passed the math exam, while 45.45 percent passed the reading exam.

Goals set forth by the annual progress objectives say that this year, 18.5 percent of the school's students must past the math exam and 50 percent should pass the reading assessment.

Each year the annual measurable objectives indicate that students passing math assessments must increase by 7.4 percent, while a 4.5 percent increase is expected with the reading exams.

Some of the strategies to improve learning at Compass High School, according to Principal Brian Anderson, are to host school-wide math practice days. Students will also work towards earning awards each month for attendance, academics and amiability.

"They can earn privileges like going off campus for lunch," Anderson told Grandview School Board directors at this past Monday evening's meeting.

Students are also learning how to take detailed notes (Cornell Notes) and how to keep a tidy notebook for referencing.

Anderson says Compass High School currently houses eight certificated educators, which includes a full-time counselor and administrator. Six of the professionals at Compass have earned Master's degrees and one even has a PhD. Anderson says this is part of the school's commitment to recruit and obtain highly qualified teachers.

Superintendent Kevin Chase also added that two Compass High School teachers have previously earned Washington State Teacher of the Year honors.

Strategies are also in place to increase parental involvement, as well as creating a parent orientation for students who enter the school mid-year. Administrators at Compass High School also plan to host an open house and student-led parent conferences. They also are now allowing parents access to attendance and grading software, so parents can keep up with students' progress.

In addition to that, teachers are asked to make two contacts each week with parents of their students.

Anderson told school board directors that they are also working on better providing assistance to students who are experience difficulty, along with providing a smooth transition from Compass to Grandview High School.

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