ACS maintains academic standing, #1 in state in 3-8 Math

ACS maintains academic standing, #1 in state in 3-8 Math
Posted on 08/12/2021

Despite the effects COVID-19 had on learning last school year, Arlington Community Schools significantly outperformed state averages on last year’s TCAP and EOC tests, including having ranked #1 in the state for Math in Grades 3-8. While scores declined statewide, ACS students maintained levels of proficiency in many tested areas compared to 2019, the last time state testing occurred.

“When you consider the circumstances our teachers and students were working under last year, the results are simply amazing,” said Superintendent Jeff Mayo. “Like many, we expected to see learning loss, but what we found in ACS is that our students mostly maintained, and in some cases exceeded, pre-pandemic expectations.”

Last year, ACS offered a variety of learning models to both combat the effects of the pandemic and give families choice. The district offered traditional in-person learning in Grades K-8, high school students attended two days in person and three days remotely from home, and Arlington Online serviced about 16 percent of the district’s student population fully online.

“Our focus was keeping schools open and students in school, while taking good care of both students and staff,” Mayo continued. “Testing and test scores weren’t the focus, and I think that led to less pressure on our teachers and administrators. We instead trusted those closest to the work to be the instructional practitioners that we know them to be. We’re grateful to see that our students performed, as a whole, in line with pre-pandemic levels.”

Some notable takeaways from the scores:

  • In Grades 3-8, ACS students were #1 in the state in Math and #3 in ELA and Science.

  • AMS 6-8 students ranked 4th in the state in Social Studies.

  • Of the seven EOCs taken in high school, ACS students ranked within the Top 10 in four of the tests, including English I (4th), English II (9th), Biology (6th) and U.S. History (2nd).

Although the district has returned to full capacity 5-days a week, the pandemic will likely continue to impact student learning, particularly for those who are out of school due to COVID-19 or those placed in quarantine due to an exposure. Therefore, ACS will continue to identify methods to combat potential learning loss, target academic areas in which need extra support, and drill down to our subgroup areas to provide research-based strategies to help improve student performance.

This past summer, nearly 200 students participated in the Launch Summer Camp to reinforce standards and learning that occurred last school year. Before and after school tutoring will be made available to eligible students, and the district will continue its work to support the whole child emotionally and socially. Additionally, the district’s 1:1 initiative will be further developed to give students even greater individualized instruction to bolster learning.