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Report shows Pine-Richland schools score above state, national average

| Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
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The Pine-Richland School District released a comprehensive report on Monday that highlights academic data from the 2012-13 school year.

“Pine-Richland is a high-achieving school district,” Superintendent Brian Miller said previously at the September academic achievement committee meeting, when the report first was discussed.

The Academic Achievement Report is available at www.pinerichland.org on the school board's communication page.

The report indicates that Pine Richland students “demonstrate high levels of achievement and outperform both state and nation averages across standardized assessment,” director of communications Rachel Hathhorn said.

Data from a variety of standardized tests and measurement tools was analyzed, including the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment, or PSSA, tests; Keystone Exams; the Pennsylvania Value-Added Assessment System; the SAT; the ACT; and Advanced Placement, or AP, tests, Hathhorn said.

Miller introduced the Academic Achievement report at the Sept. 11 academic achievement committee meeting.

“There are many forms of achievement in a school district,” Miller said at the meeting. “It happens in arts, athletics, classrooms and it also happens in standardized testing.”

The report indicates that in 2013, 90 percent of Pine-Richland students tested received advanced or proficient results on the math PSSA tests for the first time.

A five-year comparison of Pine-Richland grade levels also indicated “high, stable scores” on the reading PSSA tests, Hathhorn said.

This is the first edition of the report, Hathhorn said, although school-district officials have done comprehensive academic data analysis sporadically in the past.

Miller said the Academic Achievement Report is just one part of an effective plan for the school. It analyzes data in five year increments.

The report also indicated that the number of students taking AP courses has increased significantly over the last five years, Hathhorn said, from 296 students in 2009 to 450 in 2013. The number of AP tests taken also increased, from 529 in 2009 to 944 in 2013.

The superintendent said he hopes the report will allow teachers and staff to take a critical look at the data coming from standardized tests and apply it in a meaningful way in the classroom.

“There is some serious professional development that has to happen on our part to engage department chairs, teachers, paraprofessionals,” he said.

“We can talk about it here, but it doesn't matter if we don't get it into the schools.”

Rachel Farkas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-779-6902 or rfarkas@tribweb.com.

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