In preparation for the upcoming school year, the Jim Thorpe Area School District continues striving for stronger Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) test scores. The district has implemented the Continuous Improvement Program to analyze test data and rework curriculum to meet test standards.
During public comment, Bill Allison voiced his concern for the PSSA test scores in Jim Thorpe. Allison feels that the importance of these tests needs to be stressed.
"We need to reach out to our community to make sure that the parents and the students understand the importance of the test," stated Allison.
Superintendent Barbara Conway stated, "We are working hard and we will continue to work hard."
To strengthen test scores the Continuous Improvement Program was developed by a committee of administration and teachers in the district. The committee looks into PSSA test data and studies which areas the students need to focus more on.
"We have this plan in place but we are going to be doing more. We have already been meeting with our reading/language arts department chair and math department chair," said Conway.
Other areas the district will work on include: parent involvement with the students and reworking some of the curriculum to align with the test standards.
High School Principal, Thomas Lesisko, stated that in preparation for the next school year the high school had implemented a summer math and reading program.
High school students are expected to read two books and write book reports. They are also expected to complete 10 math exams.
Lesisko said that the students get credit for the work they do over the summer and this program is used to review students in basic concepts they need for school and the PSSA tests.
Jim Thorpe School District is not only preparing for this years PSSA tests but also for the incoming Keystone Exams.
Board member Gerald Strubinger said that the Keystone Exams will eventually replace the PSSA tests and will be mandatory for graduation.
The Keystone Exams will focus on Math, Science, History, and English.
There will be an informational presentation on the Continuous Improvement Program and its progress at the next school board meeting.