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Southmoreland district does well overall on AYP

| Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012, 12:02 a.m.

The state of the Southmoreland School District schools was presented at Thursday's meeting of the board.

School directors were informed that, for the most part, the district is doing well.

However, there are some concerns at the high school, where students fell under the Adequate Yearly Progress levels in reading and math.

“As a district, we're doing very well,” Assistant Superintendent Timothy Scott said. “We have some areas of concern with performances at the high school.”

Scott made the presentation in the absence of Superintendent John Molnar, whose mother died this week.

School directors also were informed that processes are in place to rectify these issues.

Adequate Yearly Progress is a measurement defined by the No Child Left Behind Act that allows the U.S. Department of Education to determine how every public school and school district in the country is performing academically, according to results on standardized tests, such as the Pennsylvania State School Assessment exams.

PSSA scores were recently released.

Scott's Power-point presentation showed the high school did not meet the established target of 78 percent of the students taking the PSSA test reaching a level of at least proficiency in math for the 2011-12 school year. The district checked in at 60 percent.

In reading, the target number was 81 percent, and Southmoreland came in at 67.6 percent.

“This is where we are having issues with our performance,” Scott said. “This is the second consecutive year there has been a decline at the high school.”

Only high school juniors participate in PSSA testing each year.

High school principal Daniel Krofcheck said the school is taking steps to move toward these target numbers for the current school year.

“The first thing to identify is what are the essential things that our students need to know,” Krofcheck said after Thursday night's meeting in the middle school cafeteria. “We want to start to work with them at really matching the standards with what they're doing in the classroom. Collaboratively the teachers monitor student progress, then prescribe specific ways to deal with the students with intervention and tutoring.”

During his presentation, Scott presented similar scenarios.

“When we identify an area that needs to be addressed, let's identify the problem,” he said, adding that measures can then be taken to rectify the problem.

The district met its targets in all other AYP scores.

Paul Paterra is a staff editor with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at ppaterra@tribweb.com or 724-887-6101.

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