EDUCATION

G-A test scores above state average

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot

The School Performace Profile (SPP) for the four buildings on the Greencastle-Antrim School District campus were revealed Oct. 17. Director of educational operations Dr. Robert Crider explained the results to the school board during its worksession. Student testing took place last spring.

The high school came in at 85.3 percent, the middle school at 86 percent, the elementary school at 72.1 percent, and the primary school at 84.5 percent. SPP was based on academic achievement, closing the achievement gap, academic growth indicators and other factors. Scores from last year’s Keystone exams and PSSA tests were used in the calculations.

School officials were pleased with the results and wanted to see growth from the students each year. The scores surpassed state averages.

“Our numbers are matching natural life,” said Crider. “Eighty percent do well, 10 percent do well with a little help, and five to 10 percent qualify for special education services and are not going to function at grade level.”

“When we hit 90 percent, we’ll be celebrating,” said superintendent Dr. C. Gregory Hoover.

The scores

At the high school level, Keystone test scores exceeded the state averages, shown in parentheses. They were: algebra, 70.95 percent (54); literature, 89.67 (66.8); and biology, 55.71 (41.5).

In grades 3-8, PSSA results were similar - math, 80.8 percent (74.7); reading, 74.4 (69); science, 72.5 (69.2); and writing, 79.9 (68.1).

Crider noted that science had taken a back seat to math and reading in the past, and textbooks were old. Science, technology, engineering and math programs (STEM) were now emphasized. Celeste Beard, assistant director of educational operations, added that the KtO grant program addressed the issue. Every academic department was focusing on reading and comprehension skills.

“Students are becoming readers of content in all areas,” she said. “They are hitting non-fiction.”

At the middle school, students achieved a reading score of 77.1 and a math score of 81.7, both dips from the previous year. At the elementary school the ratings were reading, 71.4, also a drop; and math, 79.2. At the primary school the scores were reading, 80.2; and math, 81.5, both dips. The number of proficient or advanced students was based on the spring PSSA test results of this year's third graders.

Crider offered some explanation. He said the reading series was eight years old, KtO training took teachers out of the classroom 10 days last year, and the intervention program was outdated and had just been replaced.

“And there is always some fluctuation in scores,” he said.

Beard predicted it would take two to three years to see the full results of the KtO grant program, which concentrated on reading skills.

The SPP is required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Board members attending the worksession were Joel Fridgen, Melinda Cordell, Ken Haines, Eric Holtzman, Brian Hissong and Mike Still. William Thorne, Mike Shindle and Tracy Baer were absent.