BELOIT—Our Lady of the Assumption (OLA) Catholic School’s student test scores have returned to pre-pandemic levels.

“Last year in the fall we saw a 7% decline in normal student scores, and we attributed it to e-learning during the shutdown in spring of 2020. But by January we had made those gains back,” OLA Principal Trevor Seivert said.

By April, the students’ scores indicated they were performing four to six months ahead of their grade level, Seivert said.

OLA uses STAR 360 testing.

To be at first grade level, students would need to receive a 1.0 rating. First graders received a 0.9 in English language arts (ELA). They did not take the math test.

The school’s second graders, who would have to receive a 2.0 to be at second grade level, received a 2.2 in ELA and a 2.1 in math.

Its third graders, who would have to receive receive a 3.0 to be at third grade level, received a 3.0 in ELA and a 3.4 in math.

Its fourth graders, who would have to receive a 4.0 to be at fourth grade level, received a 4.2 in ELA and a 4.2 in math.

Its fifth graders, who would have to receive a 5.0 to be at fifth grade level, received a 5.2 in ELA and a 5.0 in math.

Its sixth graders, who would have to receive a 6.0 to be at sixth grade level, received a 6.0 in ELA and a 6.1 in math.

Its seventh graders, who would have to receive a 7.0 to be at seventh grade level, received a 7.1 in ELA and a 7.1 in math.

Its eighth graders, who would have to receive a 8.0 to be at eighth grade level, received a 8.2 in ELA and an 8.1 in math.

To improve scores, Seivert said a counselor is now coming twice a week as opposed to once a week.

“We also hired a teacher’s aid to go in all the classes and work with students who were struggling,” Seivert said

The School District of Beloit issued OLA a Title 1 teacher to help with reading and math funded through the Title 1 federal program administered through resident school districts.

OLA’s enrollment this fall is 151 students.

“We still have room for about 80 students,” Seivert said.

Last year enrollment was 162. It had made a big jump from 109 in the 2019-2020 school year.

Prior to this year, the school had increased enrollment for several years and gained more students after St. Peter’s Catholic School in South Beloit closed at the end of the 2020 school year.

When asked if the Lincoln Academy—a new public charter school—might be affecting enrollment, he said competition is a good thing.

“I think it’s important to have a lot of schools because we are here for the right reasons—the kids. The better schools are, the better the community is and we are all working together,” Seivert said.

Seivert said tuition is $2,950 a year, and noted students can get significant financial aid.