Over the past several years, the Redwood Area School District (RASD) has maintained and studied data from assessments taken by its students. While there have been upward trends along the way, overall trends have raised concerns.

Those concerns were brought to the forefront this past Monday when the Redwood Area Board of Education saw the data as presented by Darcy Josephson, RASD director of teaching and learning.

Over the past several years, the Redwood Area School District (RASD) has maintained and studied data from assessments taken by its students. While there have been upward trends along the way, overall trends have raised concerns.

Those concerns were brought to the forefront this past Monday when the Redwood Area Board of Education saw the data as presented by Darcy Josephson, RASD director of teaching and learning. One specific area of concern raised by the board was a trend in fifth grade math results on Minnesota Com-prehensive Assessments. Board member Jim Buck-ley said the trends seem to be improving in the third and fourth grade, but then things drop off when the fifth graders take the tests. “Something is wrong there,” said Buckley. Josephson and Rick Ellingworth, RASD superintendent recognized the same reality, adding they just can’t seem to put their finger on the reason behind the drop in test scores. Ellingworth said four different teachers have been involved in the program over the past several years. Josephson said there are things being done at the elementary school, such as in-creased time for math and specialists who are focused solely on teaching math to students. She also said there is more time for intervention, as Title I dollars coming into the district are being used at Reede Gray to address those concerns. “We are not about making excuses,”?said Ellingworth, who admitted school administrators are frustrated about this, too. Is there a need to increase the rigor at the fifth grade level, or are there other transition issues fifth graders are facing as they move from elementary to middle school? Josephson said the middle school math team continues to be in process as they try to solve this and other issues. In other action during its meeting Monday night, the school board: • Approved the proposed level for the 2012-13 school year payable in 2012. The current levy includes a 15 percent decrease over 2011, but John Sellevold, RASD finance director told the board that levy does not include any referendum dollars, nor does it include a difference in debt service based on the repayment of the state loan with refunding bonds. A second levy that includes both of those, plus funding for a new integration program includes an 8 percent drop in the levy, but that would only go into effect based on the outcome of the referendum election in November and the sale of the school bonds. • Approved the employment of Chris Bebeau as a long-term substitute high school social studies teacher at a salary of $105 per day for 10 days and $165.22 per day for any additional teaching days.