‘One whale of an achievement’ by Portage Township students
By John Robbins Post-Tribune correspondent September 26, 2012 8:50PM
Updated: October 29, 2012 6:26AM
The Portage Township School Board on Wednesday heard preliminary ISTEP results that were released by the state in mid-September.
“You’re going to really be stunned about how well your kids have done,” school chief Ric Frataccia told the board.
Assistant Superintendent Mary Tracy prefaced her remarks by noting that 53 percent of Portage students are eligible for free and reduced lunches, a surrogate measure of poverty, and that based on that measure, students are predicted to obtain a level of performance of only 68 percent.
Preliminary results show that the lowest level of performance was 79 percent for seventh- and eighth-grade students in the English and Language Arts category and the highest level of performance was at 94 percent for fifth-grade students in Mathematics.
Portage fourth- and fifth-grade students are ranked second among all Porter County schools, ranked fifth for six-graders and ranked sixth for third-, seventh- and eight-grade schools.
In a new grading system instituted by the state, Portage High School received a grade of A- based on student performance and the school district as a whole received a grade of A.
“We have tremendous students who work incredibly hard,” said Tracy, who was seconded by Frataccia saying, “It is one whale of an achievement.”
The preliminary estimate of average daily student membership used by the state to establish level of state funding is 7,817, “Almost flat from last year,” according to Frataccia.
In other action, the board approved the advertised 2013 school budget of $77,635,719. The budget awaits action by the state Department of Local Government Finance for final adjustment and approval.