Residents can track school progress online
Exactly how well students in the Palmerton Area School District continue to learn can be tracked online.
Superintendent Scot Engler announced at Tuesday's school board meeting that the Pennsylvania School Performance Profile scores have been released.
School Performance Profiles is the measure of how well students are learning, and has replaced Adequate Yearly Progress, which was part of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
The scores can be viewed by clicking a link on the Pennsylvania Department of Education home page, http://www.pde.state.pa.us.
But, Engler cautioned that the academic performance data for the high school is not currently available due to corrections the school will make in its end-of-course designations for students taking the Keystone Exams.
The school's School Performance Profile academic performance data will be available by Jan. of 2014, Engler said. Current data, not corrected for the end-of-course designations, may be available sooner upon request from the Local Education Agency.
The School Performance Profile provides the public with a comprehensive overview of student academic performance in every Pennsylvania public school building.
Designed to serve three purposes, the School Performance Profile will be used for federal accountability for Title I schools, the new teacher and principal evaluation system and to provide the public with information on how public schools across Pennsylvania are academically performing.
In addition, it will provide demographic data, academic data, and an academic performance score. Unlike previous measures, the School Performance Profile utilizes many data points to measure schools.
It includes such specifics as enrollment, number of schools, average years of educational experience, and geographic size of district. Student enrollment for the district is also displayed by ethnicity, while links to related agencies, such as career and technical centers and intermediate units are displayed, as well as links to supplemental reports.
The scoring tab provides an explanation of the factors that contribute to the academic score, while the academic performance tab displays the school's academic score, academic performance fast facts, the academic performance elements and scores, and the federal accountability designation, as applicable.
The compare tab offers options to select schools for comparison, whether in the same LEA or schools in other LEAs across the state. The School Supports tab, when fully operational, will provide specific improvement strategies directly related to the elements of the SPP.
Engler said the Palmerton Junior High School had a score of 74.3; Towamensing Elementary, 84.2; S.S. Palmer Elementary, 80.8, and the Parkside Education Center, 81.2.
In other business, the board:
• Approved the insurance renewal, effective Nov. 12, as follows: General package, boiler and automobile, ACE Insurance, $75,602; school board legal liability, SBI Insurance, $18,308; excess liability (with $5,000,000 limit), Old Republic, $12,924; cyber risk insurance, Travelers, $6,087; and terrorism coverage, $711.
• Approved the establishment of a scholarship fund in memory of Blaine R. House, who was a teacher at the Palmerton Area School District Towamensing Elementary School.
• Approved a blanket DJ Services performance contract for the 2013-14 school year with Dustin K. Kresge (Dusten Bolden).
• Approved a blanket DJ Services performance contract for the 2013-14 school year with Disk Jockey Kings.