Chief Tahgee Elementary Academy.
By ROSELYNN YAZZIE
FORT HALL — Reading scores at Chief Tahgee Elementary Academy were reportedly low with 17 percent of students at grade level.
Chief Tahgee Administrator Joel Weaver explained the language immersion school gets judged on their scores and are under the Public Charter School Commission.
They track their academic goals through Istation, which measures student growth with engaging, computer-adaptive diagnostic and screening programs. They haven’t accomplished meeting the goal standards yet, which Weaver believes is because they are so far behind the state.
However Weaver sees CTEA as a place that really has a chance to be successful. They have seen improvements in scores for science, mathematics, and reading. He said they have been trying to concentrate on growth. The Shoshone language program has also grown. Students have also done well in student engagement, which Weaver said shows the positive response that students and parents like the school.
Weaver compares the progress of CTEA to schools such as Tyhee Elementary, IT Stoddard, and Stalker Elementary, with the goal to surpass their scores. He finds some people compare them to Fort Hall Elementary, but said they have many differences.
CTEA has 85 students currently. He’s hoping when they get into a permanent building they will see more enrollment. They have students up to seventh grade.
Other issues CTEA has are finding fluent speakers who have the ability to teach at the school. The CTEA students also have earlier IRI testing, which scores are used to develop curriculum. The kids learn in Shoshone mainly, which can cause confusion in English and mathematics until they learn to transition. He’s seen kids improve after a few years in the program.
Weaver reminds people these are Shoshone speakers and of course they want to see higher testing score but they are happy with the improvements they have made and to see continuing progress.
Weaver said the main goal is to keep moving, especially in mathematics since the scores stayed stagnant last year. He hopes to see them at 30 percent, although the real goal is 50 percent and more importantly to see them improve.
“We know that our proficiency rates are not average, yet, but the amount of growth and the quality of the school that we’re producing reflects in that overall. That’s what we’re after. We want to keep moving up,” said Weaver.
He reminds people the staff do a good job at giving the kids the individual attention they need.