shortcut to content

Stillwater Central School District mastheadStillwater high school building entrance

bottom masthead edge
December 15, 2017
shadow spacer

Stillwater News

Dr. Stephanie Affinito works with Stillwater teachers
Dr. Stephanie Affinito works with Stillwater English teachers on Oct. 23.

Stillwater looks to improve English results

Oct. 25, 2012 – When the state released the 2012 English language arts (ELA) test results for grades 3-8 this summer, Stillwater officials were not pleased. While the district has not been formally labeled a “focus district” by the state for low performance on state exams, school leaders say they are looking for ways to increase student achievement.

“We’re not happy with our ELA test scores, so we’re looking at ways we can improve what we currently do to ensure all of our students have strong literacy skills,” said Superintendent of School Dr. Stanley Maziejka.

As a first step, school leaders are taking a hard look at how Stillwater teachers teach. A main goal is making sure that literacy skills are part of every class — not just English Language Arts.

Officials are putting more emphasis on cross-curriculum work between subject areas to make sure that teachers across all subject areas are working together. As a result, social studies teachers are collaborating with English teachers on research projects, and math teachers are emphasizing the importance of reading and writing skills.

The district, in cooperation with the Stillwater Teacher’s Association, has also decided to increase professional development opportunities for teachers after school. New this year, Stillwater teachers are staying for an additional hour every week, for a total of 30 extra hours.

During that professional development time, ELA teachers are working with Dr. Stephanie Affinito, a literacy consultant from The University at Albany. Affinito’s focus is coaching staff to plan, create and implement the Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS) and reading intervention programs. This will involve improving classroom instruction to not only better align lessons with what is required on the state exams, but to ensure that teachers are meeting the requirements of the new state evaluation system.

“By bringing in Stephanie, we are placing emphasis on improving the skills of our teachers and offering them more support by reinforcing modern teaching methods,” Maziejka said. “Reading and writing skills are essential for all kinds of learning and they play a crucial role in the success of our students. We need to make sure we are supporting our teachers every step of the way as we work to improve student achievement in this area.”

Here’s how Stillwater compares to the state mean (average) scale scores on the 2012 ELA exam results:

Grade

State mean score needed
for proficiency

Stillwater’s mean score

3

663

663

4

671

666

5

668

674

6

662

663

7

665

667

8

658

660

 

shadow spacer
mission statement type
This page is maintained according to Stillwater Central School District Web publishing regulations. This website was produced by the Capital Region BOCES Communications Service, Albany, NY. The district is not responsible for facts or opinions contained on any linked site. Copyright © 2015. All rights reserved. Contact Samantha Bloem, Webmaster, for site related questions or use our Feedback form.