Teachers in Spokane’s schools have a strong new tool for teaching students how to write.
Writing tests given the past two years to students in the fifth, seventh and 10th grades are yielding impressive results, said Fran Mester, supervisor of curriculum in the Spokane School District. Teachers now have a better idea where students need more help.
Students in all grades are doing a good job of coming up with ideas and expressing themselves as individuals, Mester told school board members at their regular meeting Wednesday. But they aren’t as good at putting those ideas into effective, clear sentences, she said.
Teachers now can gear their lessons to the weaknesses identified by the tests.
Mester said the two-year-old testing program is gaining acceptance throughout the district.
The tests consist of three, 45-minute sessions in which students come up with a paper on a single topic, then revise and edit the paper.
In other business, the district approved $41,000 in changes for the library relocation projects at Lidgerwood, Lincoln Heights, Ridgeview and Westview elementaries.
Board members criticized the size of the changes because they amounted to nearly 10 percent of the $460,000 job. Two board members urged better communication between school officials and architects to avoid costly changes in future projects.