Community News

Anacortes student scores on state tests taken in Spring 2016 show notable improvements from a year ago, according to school district superintendent Dr. Mark Wenzel. 

The results – which include the Smarter Balanced tests in English language arts and math, as well as the science Measurements of Student Progress tests – were released last week during a news conference by the state superintendent. 

This is the second year students took the Smarter Balanced tests. The tests are based on new, rigorous Washington State standards. Anacortes students took the tests online. 

“We’re seeing incremental growth as a system, which means more students are meeting higher standards,” said Wenzel. “It’s a reflection of the great work of our staff and students. We know that when students meet standard on these assessments, it’s an indication of their college and career readiness. The results, therefore, represent a helpful ‘snapshot’ of our progress as a district.” 

Grades 3-8

Scores increased from a year ago in most subject areas and grade levels. In addition, the percentage of ASD students meeting standard in core subject areas compared favorably with state averages. The district has a free-and-reduced lunch rate of 28 percent, compared to 44 percent for the state.  

Percent of students proficient, 2016
  Math English Language Arts
Grade ASD State Diff. ASD State Diff.
3 62.7 58.9 3.8 69.5 54.3 15.2
4 70.6 55.4 15.2 69.6 57.0 12.6
5 58.6 49.2 9.4 71.2 60.1 11.1
6 55.0 48.0 6.0 70.8 56.5 14.3
7 65.3 49.8 15.5 68.0 58.5 9.5
8 70.0 47.8 22.2 74.5 59.7 14.8

Fifth and eighth graders took “Measurements of Student Progress” tests in science. The percentage of proficient eighth graders was 85.4 percent (compared to 67.5 percent for the state). For fifth graders, 74 percent scored proficient (compared to 65.3 percent for the state).

High School

High school students are required to take the Smarter Balanced ELA and math tests in 11th grade but can take them in 10th grade. A student who earns a Level 3 or 4 (meeting standard) is considered “college and career ready” in that area. 

For the Class of 2017, the test was not required for graduation. A total of 56 percent who tested met standard in math. 

Students in the Class of 2018 – who must meet standard as a graduation requirement – performed well on the Smarter Balanced ELA and math tests. A total of 88 percent who tested met the college-and career-ready standard in English Language Arts and 89 percent met the same standard in math. 

The percentage of 10th graders meeting standard in math was 29 percentage points higher than the state, the highest gap in any grade level or subject area. 

In biology, the tests are still being processed. Of those scored, 74 percent have met standard. 

Wenzel said the district is moving forward with initiatives to support student learning, including: 

  • 1:1 tech initiative in grades 4-6 in 2016-2017 and grades 7-12 in 2017-2018
  • New research-based reading program in elementary schools in 2016-2017
  • New high school (opens in 2018-2019)
  • Continued field tests of math curricula
  • Professional development to include more time for teacher collaboration and partnership with UW and Columbia University facilitators in math and reading 

COVID-19 Cases in Skagit County

4,942 Confirmed Skagit Cases
400-409 Total Cases in ZIP 98221

318 Hospitalizations
67 Deaths
44,613 Fully Vaccinated
57,198 Initial Doses Given


379,100 Confirmed Cases Statewide
22,614 Hospitalizations

5,539 Deaths Statewide
2,419,434 Fully Vaccinated
3,368,279 Initial Doses Given

Updated 6 pm, May 5, 2021.

County Map: Confirmed COVID-19 cases by ZIP code in Skagit County. Updated weekly.

Sources: Skagit County Public Health, Washington State Department of Health, New York Times