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Ligonier Valley students do well in tests

| Monday, May 14, 2012, 7:47 a.m.

Ligonier Valley School District's fifth-, eighth- and 11th-graders scored above the state average in the reading and math sections of the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment tests given in April.

District psychologist Ray Milke announced the test scores Monday at a special school board meeting.

'They did very well across all the (school) buildings on the PSSA,' Milke said.

Fifth-graders at Ligonier Valley Middle School and Ligonier Valley Elementary School had a combined average reading score of 1360, compared to the state average of 1310. Fifth-graders also exceeded the average state math score of 1310 by 40 points.

Similar results were recorded from the district's eighth-graders at Ligonier Valley and Laurel Valley middle schools. Combined district averages exceeded the average state reading score of 1310 by 40 points and the average state math score by 50 points.

In Ligonier Valley and Laurel Valley high schools, 11th-graders scored a combined average of 1360 on the reading section, compared with the state average of 1300. They scored 1340 on the math section, compared with 1310 state average.

Milke said results of the PSSA writing test given to the district's sixth-, ninth- and 11th-graders were encouraging as well, particularly the 11th-graders' scores.

Compared to a state average score of 1320 on the writing test, the Ligonier Valley and Laurel Valley juniors had a combined average score of 1380. The district's ninth-graders scored a combined average of 1330, compared to the state average of 1310. In the sixth grade, district students had a combined average of 1350, compared to the state average of 1300.

'For all of (the buildings), if we were not within our expected score ranges, we were well above the average, which is very encouraging,' Milke said.

Superintendent Dr. Stephen Whisdosh said that the results showed the district's commitment to making Ligonier Valley a place to get a good education.

'The scores are magnificent this year, and I'm surely proud of the teaching staff and administration,' Whisdosh said.

In another matter, the board approved hiring David Steimer to replace Ligonier Valley Middle School Principal Dr. Valeri Helterbran. Helterbran is leaving the district to accept a faculty position at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Steimer formerly taught art at R.K. Mellon Elementary School.

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