Siouxland school district is tops in math and reading - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Siouxland school district is tops in math and reading

Creighton school officials celebrate top rankings in Nebraska standardized testing. Creighton school officials celebrate top rankings in Nebraska standardized testing.

Want to know the key to success?  One Siouxland School seems to have figured it out after receiving results from a statewide standardized test.

Creighton Community Public Schools has reason to celebrate.  They've learned the results of last spring's NeSA test.

"We thought we did pretty well. We had no idea we were going to come out number one," said Jeff Jensen, Creighton Community Public Schools Superintendent.

NeSA is a standardized test given across the state of Nebraska, evaluating students' knowledge in reading, math, science, and writing.

For the first time, public school districts were ranked on how well they did.

Creighton Community Public Schools ended up first in math and reading.

One key to success, starting kids early.

"We don't let kids slip through the cracks. You know, we're recognizing kids that have issues or concerns and we're trying to address those early," said Jensen.

"We go around the school, looking for shapes. I teach them that shapes are everywhere. They're not only in our classroom," said Christine Hammer, Early Childhood Program.

It's an interactive learning style that continues, even as students get older.

"We do a lot of work together, talk in over, learn it, and then they practice on marker boards. And we do a lot practice, and we do a lot of discussion on what we're doing. And we always have an assignment at the end of the day so they can practice what they've learned," said Kelly Blair, Middle School Math Teacher.

"They have AR, where they pick their own books that they want to read, and they read it at their own pace," said Deb Bloomquist, Middle School English Teacher.

At the 4th through 6th grade levels, teachers specialize in a particular subject.

"We work as a group, and most of us have worked here a long time, so we kind of know what they expect, so we kind of have the same expectations," said Blair.

Students, like 6th grader Bryce Zimmerer benefit.

He's already knows his teacher from 4th grade.

"When we're struggling, she'll like help us and explain how to do it and stuff like that," said Bryce Zimmerer, 6th grader.

Success also comes through practice and repetition.

"Right when they come into my room, they work on a bell ringer, which is just a review of what they learned, either the previous day in that chapter or something from like a month or two months ago," said Amy Doerr, Math Teacher.

"They like to explain different things, and they explain them, whether or not we get them," said Jessica Gragert, Sophomore.

But no matter how hard the teachers work, one student says, it all comes down to working together.

"We've got a lot of smart kids and a lot of kids that work really hard, and the teachers do a great job and figure we should be pretty good," said Bronson Pahl, Senior.

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