Book Buddy Night helps both students and parents

Book Buddy Night helps both students and parents by Ashley Anderson What is No Child Left Behind? How well do Wakonda students read? How can I help my child read better? Athletes don't have to read, or do they?

All these questions were answered at the first annual Book Buddy Night hosted by Wakonda elementary teachers. The night featured the athletes of WHS reading wonderful stories to the elementary students Monday, Oct. 18. They held the reading groups in the new gym and each group read about five books.

While the athletes were reading to the students in the new gym, the parents were in the old gym watching a slideshow on the new legislation "No Child Left Behind" presented by Title I teacher Casey Pollman. Guidance counselor Cheryl Knudson added some clarification of Wakonda's test score results. Third-grade teacher Kristine Gillette helped in the preparation as well.

Once the powerpoint was finished parents met with their child's teacher to discuss some reading strategies for home and to share that grade level's reading standards. It was emphasized that it is very important to form a partnership to help their children learn.

Traditionally South Dakota students do well on standardized tests. Wakonda students scored higher than the state of South Dakota at all grade levels. In March and April of this year, Wakonda School students in grades 3-8, and 11 were tested with the Dakota Step and Stanford 10 tests as part of the state-wide testing program. The parents were given their child's test scores in both reading and math.

The No Child Left Behind law states that all students will be at the Proficient and/or Advanced Levels by the year 2014. In 2003, 84 percent of the Wakonda School students tested were at those levels in Reading and 80 percent were in math. This year Superintendent Larry Johnke reports that 91 percent of our students in reading and 92 percent of students in math were at the Proficient and/or Advanced Levels.

"Our staff and students alike need to be commended for their superior test results which verify the excellent education provided at Wakonda Public School," Johnke said.

The State of South Dakota scored higher than the national average scores, and Wakonda scored higher than state average scores. See chart below:

Wakonda State

School of S.D.

Gr. 11 77 67

Gr. 8 78 64

Gr. 7 80 63

Gr. 6 73 65

Gr. 5 68 62

Gr. 4 73 65

Gr. 3 95 62

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