Merced students honored for perfect scores on state tests

dyawger@mercedsunstar.comOctober 8, 2013 

— Many of the decisions and actions made at school board meetings are necessary – but routine and uninspiring. Recognizing students for perfect scores on state tests doesn’t fit into this category.

It’s rewarding, said Susan Walsh, Merced City School District Board of Education member.

For the past three years, the five-member board has given certificates at its bimonthly sessions to students who have logged a perfect 600 score on the California Standards Test.

“It’s the rewarding part of being a trustee,” Walsh said. “It’s rewarding to be able to celebrate their success.”

Annie Dossetti, assistant superintendent for educational services, said 126 students scored 600 on the tests, given to second- through eighth-graders each spring.

“The public school system still has relevance,” Walsh said. “We’re trying and have great success. It validates what we’re doing.”

Dossetti said students in second through eighth grade take the reading, language arts and mathematics tests. The writing test is administered to all fourth- and seventh-graders; fifth- and eighth-grade students take the science test. Eighth-graders also take history and social science tests.

“It is always an honor to recognize the hard work of all of our students,” Dossetti said. “Honoring our students during the board meetings gives us the opportunity to not only recognize the students, but it also gives us the opportunity to thank the individual classroom teachers, school staff and the parents for their commitment and dedication to help focus on the district’s priority of increased student achievement.”

Board President Adam Cox said the test recognitions take place at almost every board meeting.

“Students need to remember that someone’s watching out for them and notices when they do good,” Cox said.

Dossetti said students from individual schools are presented certificates throughout the school year, based on a rotating schedule.

Board member Gene Stamm said board members would like to honor the students at a luncheon, but he realizes that is a big undertaking. He said parents deserve credit for being involved in their children’s education and encouraging them.

“People need to know how well these schools are doing,” Stamm said. “There’s not enough recognition of what they’re doing. Merced needs to be very proud of these students. There are a lot of positives out there that are happening within the school system.”

Sun-Star staff writer Doane Yawger can be reached at (209)385-2407 or dyawger@mercedsunstar.com.

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