MARINETTE - It's the middle of summer and the last thing most students have on their mind is going to school. That, however, is not the case for those responsible for molding young minds.

Marirose Lucey, the director of curriculum & technology for the Marinette Public School District, recently presented a thumbnail sketch on math and reading results from the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examination (WKCE).

Students in grades 3, 5, 6 and 7 take annual tests in reading and mathematics. Students in grades 4, 8, and 10 test in reading, math, science, language arts, writing and social studies. WKCE is given to all the students enrolled in Wisconsin public schools each fall. Lucey's report focused on grades 3, 5, 6 and 7.

"As you can see, it's pretty clear where we need help in math, reading is a little less obvious," she told members of the school board. Lucey said the math tests showed students know how to calculate but are not as adept at problem solving. She said that was one area that'll be worked on this fall.

The most recent overall results indicated a math proficiency of 80 out of 100 and reading at 82. In addition to the overall scores, students and schools each receive individual scores.

Lucey said it was plain to see where the need in math was. "Reading is always muckier to talk about than math because math is very logical and sequential and you can say these are the skills and these are the strategies, where reading mixes them up together."

When it comes to reading, the area students here need the most work in involves extending and analyzing text.

"Those two things sort of go together," said Lucey. "Analyzing means that you as a reader can see what the author is trying to say. Extending is, not only am I reading what the author is saying, but I'm also adding up some things of my own and extending that."

Lucey said she believes the district's common core curriculum will help strengthen those areas that are seen as weaknesses. There is, however, an upside to the test results.

"Our strong points in reading are the ones that we would hope for, they (the students) understand what they're reading and they have good vocabulary," she said. "The point whenever you look at the data analysis is what are you going to do about it? Once you get the plan in place, how long is it going to take?"

Lucey told board members she would review the results with building principals and would work with the math and reading teachers in the elementary and middle schools on the problem areas while still maintaining the areas of strength.