NORWAY, Mich. (WZMQ) – In a recent announcement, the State Department of Education has lauded the academic improvements witnessed in various grades for spring M-STEP testing, with spring test scores reflecting improvements in all grades for science and social studies. The state reports improvements in 6 of 7 tested grades for math, and 3 grades for language arts. While many schools across Dickinson County celebrated their progress, one institution, the Norway-Vulcan Area School District, stood out for its exceptional performance, dominating in multiple categories for elementary and middle school reading and math.
“We want to see how we did last year. We like to compare ourselves to ourselves. We want to see if our data is going up or down. Sometimes the state will change the tests, so it’s not the same test it was the year before, so we like to compare against the state average. We also like to look at our local ISD,” stated Principal Rico Meneghini of the Early Kindergarten-8th grade at the school. “We have very similar demographics across the six districts in our ISD. And if we see good stuff, or we see stuff that we want to improve, our ISD is very good at helping us work on that,” he added.
As data from last year’s testing was scrutinized, the Norway-Vulcan Area School District emerged as the undisputed leader among the six local school districts. In an impressive feat, they secured the top rank in eleven out of twelve categories, surpassing not only the local competition but also the Michigan state average. Their achievements exceeded expectations, as they outperformed the Michigan state average by a staggering margin of at least twenty points in more than half a dozen categories. For the single category that the school didn’t take 1st for last year’s testing, it rang in with a close 2nd.
Meneghini, who has been with Norway-Vulcan Area Schools for the past seven years, expressed his pride in the school’s accomplishments, stating, “The school, and the school board here, made that commitment to re-invest and update in a teacher-driven, new, not just ELA, but also new math resources. We saw immediate results with math.” The school currently uses a resource called Ready Math, whereas some of the other nearby schools use a resource called Bridges. Some of the schools that use bridges supplement with Ready Math online resources. Meneghini also noted that the school has consistent staffing and very low turnover among school staff, adding to the school’s high success rate.
This commitment to educational excellence has not been limited to a single school year; the school’s impressive progress extends beyond the 2022-23 academic year. For the upper elementary level, Norway-Vulcan consistently ranks first among the six local ISD schools, consistently surpassing the Michigan state average. Just last year, administrators and educators took the initiative to revamp disparities within part of the school’s middle English and Language Arts curriculum, and celebrated great strides with its test score improvements.
The Norway-Vulcan Area School District’s dedication to providing top-notch education and investing in its teachers and resources has undoubtedly yielded outstanding results, setting a high standard for educational achievement in Dickinson County and the state of Michigan.
The next Norway-Vulcan School board meeting will be held on October 11th, and the school has made arrangements for a strategic planning meeting at 9am on Saturday, October 21st.
For more information about Norway-Vulcan Schools, visit: