Naval Avenue, other BSD elementary schools prep for WASL
July 4, 2008 · Updated 10:25 AM
Testing could begin as early as April 14.
Third grade students at Naval Avenue Early Learning Center are gearing up for the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) test, to be administered to the schools 52 third graders before May 2.
Bremerton elementary schools will administer the test to third graders, beginning April 14 through May 2. Schools can give the test anytime within the three-week window.
Were making real sure we are giving them (the students) the tools they need to succeed, Naval Avenue principal John Welsh said of the upcoming WASL. Were teaching everyday.
The school held a Yes, We Can assembly on Wednesday, one of many WASL-related events the school has designed carried out during the past months.
Smart Club students presented WASL goals namely, to read 40 words per minute, build math facts and develop reading and writing fluency during the assembly.
And Welsh said encouraging students to set goals is one of his staffs most effective approaches in teaching the WASL.
By setting goals, the chances of succeeding become much better, he said. Those goals are important.
Welsh said Naval Avenue is unique in that only 52 of its students two classes worth will take the WASL, compared to larger numbers at neighboring elementary schools. Consequently, he said, the school also has focused on preparing younger students as well as third graders for the test.
Its encouraging that our teachers know what to do to get the kids ready from Day One, he said. We sit down and look at each kid individually.
Welsh stressed the importance of teaching on a student-by-student basis, rather than teaching a uniform curriculum across the board that may not ring home with every student.
Our greatest challenge is to get them prepared, finding where kids are at, he said. Its important, so we know what skills to teach.
Helping kids acquire WASL-related skills is an ongoing challenge, but Welsh said the challenge has brought the best out in his teachers.
Were trying to come up with a math assessment that matches the requirements of the WASL, Welsh said, adding that the school is working closely with Bob Hamilton, BSD director of special education and assessment, to reach that goal.
Its helping us become better teachers, Welsh said. It tells us what we need to teach.