Hoquiam recognized for rising test scores

Hoquiam High School has been named one of the 2013 Schools of Distinction for the region by the Center for Educational Effectiveness, a Bellevue-based organization that works with educators to analyze data from test scores and develop curriculum.

Schools are selected based on five years of improvement for their performance data, measured by scores and literacy results on state assessment tests. In the past five years, 10th grade reading scores for the high school have risen by almost 20 percent and math scores have risen more than 50 percent, although the subject is now tested somewhat differently. Hoquiam School District Superintendent Mike Parker said the rise in test scores is the culmination of efforts to emphasize reading and math at the lower grade levels, K-8.

“We’ve been much more intentional,” he said. “Some of the things we’ve done as a system have contributed to the success of the high school this year.”

The district adopted a new math curriculum in 2008, and also hired its Director of Teaching and Learning, Traci Sandstrom, that same year, said Parker.

“I would say that it’s a combined effort. I couldn’t do it without a supportive board,” he said. “It is due to a lot of hard work and a lot of focus. (This is) a good tribute to the staff and to (our) system.”