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West Jordan Journal

Sage Test Scores on the Rise at Joel P. Jensen

Nov 06, 2015 01:06PM ● By Bryan Scott

By Margaret Spencer

West Jordan - In the last two years, Sage testing has become mandatory in schools. Unsure of what was expected, teachers at Joel P. Jensen Middle School weren’t initially prepared for the tests, so neither were their kids. For the 2013-2014 school year, they ended up scoring a “C”, which sadly placed them as the lowest school in the district. 

To start the following year off on the right foot, JPJMS held an assembly to bring these sobering facts face-to-face. Principal Bryan Leggat wanted students to see what it was like to be at the bottom, and then challenged them to each do better than the year before.

“It’s not about the scoreboard,” Leggat said. “It’s about doing better than we did last year. Don’t compare our school to other schools; this year it’s about us doing better than we did last year.”

With only 50 percent of JPJMS kids being able to read at grade level, they had their work cut out for them. The teachers and students applied themselves to be better. They started a new program called the Response to Intervention program, also known as the RTI program. Students are retaught subjects and problems they didn’t understand before. One program gives them time to do past work, relearn and master every subject. 

New ways of testing the students have helped tremendously. Starting with a pretest to show their strengths and weaknesses, the students are then taught the concept and then given the same test to see how much they have improved. This has helped improve and change the way teachers are teaching.

The goal now is to continue to keep going up, and to get 80 percent of the students to receive 80 percent or more on their assessments.

Principle Leggat was very excited to announce that, at the end of the 2014-2015 school year, JPJMS was awarded a very well-earned “B” and is very positive that they will only go up from here.                               λ