Island students prepare for WASL

Over the coming weeks, Island students in grades 3 through 10 will be taking the WASL.

Tenth-graders at Mercer Island High School will be tested from April 15 to 18 on the math portion of the WASL, which they must pass for graduation. They will also be tested in science, although it is not a graduation requirement.

Students in grades 3 through 8 will be tested in reading, writing, math and science (depending on grade level) from April 14-30.

Overall, Island students fare well on the WASL.

According to a district report on 2007 WASL performance, 90 percent of MIHS 10th-graders met the standard in all three subjects, reading, math and science. Similarly, more than 90 percent of Island fourth-graders also passed all three portions of the WASL (95 percent passed reading, 91 percent passed math, and 90 percent passed writing). Fifth-graders did comparatively well, except in science, where 78 percent passed (95 percent passed reading, and 94 percent passed math).

As for students at Islander Middle School, an average 90 percent of grade 7 students passed reading, 87 percent passed math, and 91 percent passed writing. In the following grade, 92 percent passed reading, 90 percent passed math, and 85 percent passed science.

When compared with other districts in the state, MISD students perform exceedingly well.

Two years ago, MIHS 10th-graders were compared with a select group of “benchmark schools,” which include Bellevue High School, Bainbridge High School, Interlake High School, Newport High School and Bellevue International. The MIHS students performed as well as or better than all of the districts except for Bellevue International, which is a magnet school. In particular, MIHS students showed strong results in the science and math portions of the WASL.

Those students who do not pass the math WASL in grade 10 can make the exam up in August. The School District has already opened its summer WASL re-take course, to be held at the Crest Learning Center, for registration. Each session includes 180 minutes of instruction. Those students who struggle with the WASL — either reading, writing or math — in earlier grades can also attend summer school.

For a complete schedule of WASL testing or more information on summer school, visit the district Web site:

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