One county high school meets AYP

BY STACI WILSON

Only one of the six high schools in the county met the 2011-12 Adequate Yearly Progress mark, according to data released by the Pennsylvania Department of Education on Friday.

Blue Ridge High School met the criteria used to measure progress the school is making toward the state’s educational goals.

Blue Ridge High School Principal Matthew Nebzydoski attributes the school’s success to hard work on the part of students and teachers.

But there’s more to the AYP than hard work.

Benchmark exams are administered on a quarterly basis, said the principal. “Teachers watch the data and respond with good, additional instruction,” Nebzydoski said.

The high school administrator even credited elementary principal, Matthew Button, who has led the development of the elementary Response to Intervention (RTI) program.

The program helps to identify student needs before they fall too far behind, Nebzydoski said.

“School-wide, district-wide cooperation between the elementary, middle school and high school carry things from the different programs through,” he said.

For the 11th grade reading PSSA, the Blue Ridge students met the target using the “Safe Harbor by Confidence Interval (SHC).”

The confidence interval takes into account students tested in a year might not be representative of students in the school across the scope of several years, according to the Dept. of Education. The confidence interval controls for the variation by promoting schools and/or subgroups that come close to achieving performance goals.

Blue Ridge failed to meet the performance threshold in the 11th grade mathematics PSSA but was awarded AYP because the number of students who performed below proficient in 2010-11 was reduced by at least 10 percent.

Other high schools in the county did not fare as well in the testing.

Elk Lake High School did not make using AYP for academic performance in either reading or mathematics failing to achieve one adequate performance measure. The school was put on a “warning” status. Neither the Safe Harbor nor the Safe Harbor with confidence provision pushed the test-takers above the threshold. The school did achieve AYP in 2011.

Susquehanna Community met three of six performance measures and was also issued a “warning.”

SCHS failed to meet the overall reading test requirements but the “economically disadvantaged” subgroup was able to meet the measure using the Safe Harbor with Confidence Interval.

Using the Confidence Interval, Susquehanna did hit the AYP overall but the economically disadvantaged subgroup did not.

Forest City Regional was also issued a “warning” after failing to meet its performance measures in all but one category. The economically disadvantaged subgroup met the target using the Safe Harbor with Confidence Interval provision.

Montrose Area did not meet AYP in 2011 and failed to meet the requirements again this year – moving the school from the “warning” category to “School Improvement 1.”

MAHS met two of eight performance measures using the SHC in the mathematics test.

According to the Dept. of Education, the school must review its improvement strategies and create a school improvement plan so that it can meet AYP next year; and seek assistance to help it get back on the right track.

Mountain View moved to “School Improvement II” status, after it failed to meet AYP again in 2012.

Mt. View did not adequately meet any of the six performance measures.

In addition to the provisions put forth for “School Improvement 1,” the school or district will need to offer supplemental educational services, such as tutoring, to eligible students, according to the Dept. of Education.