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Capital High math teacher Ryan Swenson lectures an algebra class

Capital High math teacher Ryan Swenson lectures an algebra class last week. An annual school district report card released by the Office of Public Instruction shows Helena-area schools have a higher percentage of advanced students than the state.

The Office of Public Instruction released its 2017-18 school district report cards last week, and Helena-area schools are showing higher percentages of advanced students than the state average.

These report cards are required under the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act as an accountability system to meaningfully differentiate schools by the support needed. OPI collects and provides reports of each individual school and how it compares to its district and the state overall.

Schools are graded on mathematics, reading and science and given a rating of either novice, nearing proficient, proficient or advanced in each subject. Additionally, results show how schools compare in student progress for studies and attendance.

East Helena elementary district

The percentage of East Helena students who were advanced in science was equal to the state average of 18%. As a district, 20% of East Helena students were advanced in mathematics and 23% were advanced in reading, higher than the 17% and 19% respectively for the state. The district also had higher percentages of proficient students in all subjects.

East Helena had a slightly below-average percentage of students showing progress, with 48% in reading and 47% in math. The state had an average of 50% in both subjects. 

East Helena had 34% of students nearing proficient and 18% novice in mathematics.

The report showed that 54% of East Helena students had at least 95% attendance for the entire school year. Statewide, 47% of students achieved that attendance. 

Helena elementary district

The Helena elementary district showed similar trends. The district had slightly higher percentages of advanced students, with 21% in math, 22% in reading and 20% in science. This is compared to the state averages of 17%, 19% and 18%, respectively. The district also had slightly above-average numbers of proficient students in all categories, including 53% proficient in science.

The percentage of Helena elementary students showing progress was slightly above the state average, with 51% in reading and 52% in math. The report shows 31% of the district's elementary students were nearing proficient and 21% were novice in math.

The percentage of Helena elementary students with at least 95% attendance was slightly below the state average, with 45% in Helena and 47% statewide.  

Helena high school district

Helena's high school district had higher percentages of advanced students and lower percentages of proficient students in all categories, compared to the state. 

In mathematics, the district had a slightly higher percentage of advanced students than the state, with Helena at 20% and the state at 17%. However, 31% of high school students in Helena were rated novice and 30% were nearing proficient in math. This reflects state trends, which show students need to improve in math. Helena had a lower percentage of proficient math students at 19%, compared to 24% statewide.

Helena's high school students showed strong reading skills overall, with 26% of students being advanced compared to 19% in the state. The report showed 29% of students in the district were proficient in reading, compared to the state's 31%. 

Most of Helena's high school students were either advanced or nearing proficient in science, with 30% of students in each category. Statewide, 28% of students were nearing proficient and 18% were advanced in science. 

The district's percentage of students graduating high school in four years was slightly below average, with 84% in Helena compared to 86% in the state. The report states that 65% of the Helena students were college or career ready, compared to 71% in the state. Helena high school students also fell slightly below in attendance, with 42% of students having at least 95% attendance, compared to 47% in the state.

For more information or to view information about individual schools, visit OPI's report card webpage at opi.mt.gov.

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Education and Business Reporter

Education and Business reporter for Helena Independent Record.

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