District meets AYP fifth straight year
The drive for five has been realized in the Palmerton Area School District.
That would be in the form of the number of consecutive years the district has met Adequate Yearly Progress on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment for the 2011-12 school year.
Paula Husar, junior high school principal, announced as part of a workshop meeting of the board of school directors on Tuesday that the district has met AYP for the fifth straight year.
Adequate Yearly Progress is a key measure of school performance established by the Federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. In order to achieve it, schools and districts must meet target percentages with all students, as well as with every subgroup of 40 or more students, scoring at the Advanced or Proficient level.
In order to make AYP, a school or district must meet three target areas: attendance or graduation rate depending on the level of the school; participation rate, and performance on the PSSA.
However, Husar said the individual buildings themselves did not meet AYP, and therefore, are on warning status.
Towamensing Elementary met 11 of its 13 targets, Husar said. Its economically disadvantaged subgroup fell short in reading, where it scored 60.9 percent, compared to the target goal of 81 percent; as well as in math, where it scored 52.2 percent, compared to the target goal of 78 percent, she said.
Husar said S.S. Palmer Elementary met 14 of its 15 targets. Its economically disadvantaged subgroup scored 58.1 percent in reading, compared to the target goal of 81 percent, she said.
The junior high school met 12 of its 15 targets, Husar said. Its all students subgroup scored 64.7 percent in math, compared to the target goal of 78 percent; its economically disadvantaged subgroup scored 50.5 percent in math, compared to the target rate of 78 percent; and its economically disadvantaged subgroup scored 56.8 percent in reading, compared to the target rate of 81 percent, she said.
Husar said the high school met just six of its 10 targets. Its all students subgroup scored 53.5 percent in math, compared to the target rate of 78 percent; its white student subgroup scored 55.4 percent in math, compared to the target rate of 78 percent; its all students subgroup scored 74 percent in reading, compared to its target rate of 81 percent; and its white student subgroup scored 74.4 percent in reading, compared to its target rate of 81 percent, she said.
"The district made AYP the last five years, including this year," Husar said. "The schools did not; the district did."
Husar said it's important for the district, as well as the students, parents and entire community, to strive to meet the criteria.
Based on the scores, Husar said the district has several factors to consider: The need for data driven decision making; curriculum review; emphasize the importance of the testing process with the students; and Keystone.
Director Susan Debski said she believes AYP should be a community-geared initiative.
Husar agreed, and added "it's a big deal for the district to make AYP."
"I believe that if you build the kids skills, the test will take care of itself," she said. "That's what we've got to take care of."