This year, as is custom, OCS students took the NWEA standardized tests during August and September. Despite the unusual circumstances created by the pandemic, academic achievement results show more than 80% of students at or above grade level and show greater growth collectively in this year than in the 4 previous years.
Catholic Schools focus on using test results to target and address gaps in learning. The NWEA MAP tests measure individual and class growth between years or months in the year. Using test results provides us with insight so that we can appropriately address students who are not reaching their goals, while providing enrichment opportunities for students who are meeting or exceeding their growth goal.
“Given the tremendous set of challenges brought on by the pandemic, it was surprising to learn more students met their growth goal when compared to previous years,” said Keith Osborne, OCS Chief Administrative Officer. “Undoubtedly, Covid sparked a heightened level of engagement between parents, teachers, and students out of concern that students would suffer academically.”
At the same time, OCS leaders were concerned about the well-being of students, families, and staff. At the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year, OCS contracted with Counseling Associates to offer six sessions with a counselor for any student, family, teacher, or staff member.
Osborne said the outpouring of support OCS has received is unprecedented. “Parents, grandparents, alumni, business partners, and community leaders reached out to ask what we needed and how they could help. We remain grateful to the priest pastors who support OCS, and for the ongoing prayers of the faithful offered on our behalf.”
Since the beginning of the pandemic, educators in Catholic schools from across Western Kentucky have engaged in quarterly virtual meetings with teachers in the same subjects to compare notes, share ideas, support one another, and discuss how best to support students. “Catholic school students throughout the Diocese are reaping the benefits of teacher creativity, ingenuity, and commitment to delivering in-person education,” said Osborne.
“It’s a good time to pause, look upon the faces of the children of God whom we are honored to nurture, educate, and prepare for the fulfillment of their calling, and say ‘well done’.”