BKW highlights positive growth in statewide test scores

The definition of success can take many pathways. But, the ability to reach successful solutions comes from the preparation performed in the classroom to facilitate stronger, dedicated and well-rounded students. Recently, the New York State Board of Regents and State Education shared the results of statewide math and English language arts assessment test scores for over 600 school districts across New York state for the 2021-22 school year. For BKW, this was an important reflection on the implementation of resources, in-depth connections through instruction, and accessibility to curriculum over the course of the past several years.

“Since 2015, we have worked to develop and prepare our district to deliver quality programs and curriculums for today’s students,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Timothy Mundell. “We have increased opportunities for the continued success of our district, whether its introducing cutting-edge technology, improved access to classroom assistance or creating forward-thinking clubs and programs. By reviewing this recent data, we are making significant gains as leaders in educational outreach, while building a special and connected campus for our community.”

The Berne-Knox-Westerlo CSD tested proficiently in the areas listed below. Please note that the data represented is collected from the 2021-22 school year, which incorporates participation and proficiency rates during the latter stages of the pandemic and its effect on in-person learning. To view how BKW compares to statewide districts, that data can be accessed here. 

ELA Participation and Performance (2021-22 school year)

Participation Percentage: 97% of BKW students in grades 3-8 participated in last year’s ELA exam. As noted in the published statewide data results, 60 percent of students in grades 3-8 showed strong proficiency in the exam.

Math Participation and Performance (2021-22 school year) 

Participation Percentage: 98% of BKW students in grades 3-8 participated in last year’s math exam. Half of the students tested in grades 3-8 show proficiency in the examination. 

In summary, the district posted in the top 100 rankings statewide for ELA proficiency and performed in the top 150 of school district’s for proficiency in math.

As noted earlier, the rankings are compiled from over 670 school district’s from across the state. This is the first time that the state has released statewide results since before the pandemic. 

Behind the data; What’s working and why?

The New York State Board of Regents and State Education Department suspended elementary- and intermediate-level state assessments for Grades 3-8 in March 2020. While testing did resume in 2021, many students were still in remote and hybrid learning environments, leading to lower than normal participation rates.

However, with proper planning, leadership from the Board of Education, parental/caregiver participation, and effective instructional outreach – – BKW was able to push forward with in person instruction and outreach, despite the residual effects that occurred during the pandemic.

Over the past few years, BKW has improved participation rates in statewide exams from 61% in 2015 to increasing overall testing participation to nearly perfect levels in 2021-22 (nearly a 40% increase!). This is a significant reflection of the work and connections being made throughout the school community, from student to teacher and district to families. Connections make the difference.

In addition, the district was able to achieve these positive results due to a multitude of areas, such as increased social-emotional outreach and support services for students/families, and increased student participation for in-person instruction that was provided during the pandemic. Also, a progressive scheduling approach was followed to better align teachers’ time to allow them to prepare for student and family needs during this timeframe. A community-based approach that has continued to gain traction over the years to get to where we are today.

We encourage our community to continue to follow the achievements being delivered to our students, for today and tomorrow. We ask that you take some time to visit our district website at www.bkwschools.org or continue following the conversation on Facebook.