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Plum school officials look to boost PSSA scores

| Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Plum School District officials over the next month are working on action plans aimed at boosting standardized test scores.

Assistant Superintendent Guy Rossi outlined the preliminary Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) math and reading scores for 2013 that, in some grade levels, showed slight decreases over the 2012 scores.

“In August, we are going to review the data, develop action plans, solicit teacher feedback and implement a plan with fidelity,” Rossi told Plum School Board members during last week's education committee meeting.

Students in grades three through eight took the math and reading PSSA exams.

The performance target for math was 89 percent. The reading target was 91 percent. Both are far above the 2012 targets that were 78 percent in math and 81 percent in reading.

In the individual buildings, just third-graders at Holiday Park Elementary reached the reading target of 91 percent of the students scoring proficient.

Adlai Stevenson Elementary was the standout school in math PSSA scores.

In math, all grades — three through six — at Adlai Stevenson Elementary surpassed the math target of 89 percent.

In third grade, 98.4 percent of the students scored proficient or advanced. In fourth grade, 94.4 percent of the students scored proficient or advanced. In fifth grade, 94.7 percent of the students scored proficient or advanced, and 98.2 percent of the school's sixth-graders scored proficient or advanced.

Adlai Stevenson Principal Jason Knisely said just one student scored below basic. And 70 percent of the students scored advanced.

At Center Elementary, 91.5 percent of the building's sixth-graders scored proficient or advanced.

Also, 93.4 percent of Holiday Park Elementary's fourth-graders scored proficient or advanced in math as did 89.3 percent of the school's sixth-graders.

At Pivik Elementary, 94.1 percent of the fourth-graders got proficient or advanced as did 89.1 percent of the sixth-graders.

At Regency Park Elementary, 97.3 percent of the fourth-graders scored proficient or advanced.

Rossi emphasized the results are preliminary and could change by a couple of points.

Board members discussed replicating the success in the math scores at Adlai Stevenson.

“It's consistency in programs and teachers,” said board President Andrew Drake.

Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400 ext. 8753 or

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