North Hills Meets 50 out of 55 PSSA Exam Targets
Across the commonwealth, approximately 200 districts including the North Hills School District also did not make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) as defined by the state Department of Education. This is an increase from 30 districts in 2011.
- September 24, 2012
A high percentage of North Hills School District students excelled on the recent Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) exams, but three of six buildings in the district fell short of meeting all 2012 proficiency targets established by the Pennsylvania Department of Education in accordance with the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001.
Across the commonwealth, approximately 200 districts including North Hills School District also did not make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) as defined by the state Department of Education. This is an increase from 30 districts in 2011.
Proficiency percentages represent the portion of students that achieved proficient or advanced in the respective subject area. This year, AYP achievement targets were raised 9 points from 72 to 81 percent in reading and from 11 points from 67 to 78 percent in math.
Detailed North Hills student data will be available over the next few days.
In 2013, proficiency targets will increase 10 additional points to 91 percent in reading and 11 more points to 89 percent in math. According to NCLB, all students are expected to reach proficiency in reading and math by 2014. The target graduation rate is 85 percent.
“Our students and teachers work tremendously hard to reach North Hills’ goal of academic excellence, and I am extremely proud of the effort and success displayed by a high percentage of our students. Consistently, our students continue to perform well when compared to their peers across Pennsylvania and the nation, and they continued that pattern on the 2012 PSSA exams,” said Dr. Patrick J. Mannarino, superintendent.
“Standardized tests such as the PSSA are one measure of student achievement. The past year, North Hills students continued to achieve academic success at all grade levels. In 2012, a record number of students scored 3 or higher on Advanced Placement exams and SAT scores continued to climb as students scored well above state and national averages.”
In North Hills, McIntyre, Ross and West View elementary schools made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for the ninth consecutive year. Highcliff Elementary and North Hills Junior High School special education subgroups did not meet AYP targets, while North Hills Senior High School also was unable to reach targets in math and the building’s economically disadvantaged subgroup did not meet benchmarks in reading.
As with many other districts, the senior high did not meet the target graduation rate due to the fact a small percentage of special education students require more than four years to complete high school coursework.
“We recognize that there are some students who are unable to reach federal benchmarks due to multiple factors including special needs,” said Dr. Mannarino.
“We realize the importance of preparing every student for a successful future and have implemented numerous new initiatives at the elementary and secondary levels to narrow the achievement gap for students.”
A new math curriculum called Math in Focus was implemented in kindergarten and first and second-grades that utilizes a visual and topic-intensive approach. The curriculum continues to be piloted in other elementary grades and will be rolled out to all elementary students next school year.
The district also intensified its efforts to ensure writing and reading strategies are utilized in all classes across the district. As well, North Hills offered opportunities for remediation for students who are deemed not proficient in reading or math at North Hills Senior High giving them an additional chance to reach proficiency by taking remediation courses.
AYP is measured by a district’s graduation rate, attendance rate and student achievement on the annual PSSA test in reading and math administered each spring. PSSA tests are given annually to students in grades three to eight as well as grade 11 each spring to evaluate all public schools in Pennsylvania as required by NCLB.
For more information, visit www.pde.state.pa.us.
- Submitted by Amanda S.F. Hartle on behalf of the North Hills School District. Have news you'd like to share with Patch readers? Email information and photos to Richard Cook at Richard.Cook@Patch.com.
|Are the AYP goals unrealistic? Or could the district be doing more? Tell us in the comments box below.|
See More on Patch
- North Hills Unranked on U.S. News and World Report's 'Best Schools' List
- North Hills Ranked in Top 9 Percent of Nation's Most Challenging High Schools
- North Hills Ranks 92nd Among PA Schools
- Highcliff Students Win Pittsburgh Public Theater Shakespeare Contest
- North Hills High School Recognized Among Best in Music Education
Most Popular articles
- 2013 Primary Election Results: Voters Select Newcomer for North Hills School Board
- North Hills 2013 Primary Results
- Parents Sue Pittsburgh Zoo over Mauling Death of Their Son
- Ross Changes Trash Collection Hours, Awards Paving Contract
- Just Listed: The Latest Homes For Sale in Ross Township and West View