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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • District outperforms many on assessment tests

  • Superintendent of the Wayne Highlands School District Tim Morgan had a lot to be proud of Thursday morning.
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  • - Superintendent of the Wayne Highlands School District Tim Morgan had a lot to be proud of Thursday morning. "We are excited because our staff works hard, our kids work hard and our community supports us," he said. What is so exciting for the district is the results of the 2013 Pennsylvania School Performance Profile. According to the profile's website, it is a web-based resource for districts and schools to communicate performance results to constituents. It is also used to help focus and align the schools who participate to ensure continuous improvement. The profile is compiled from many factors, one of which is the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) and the Keystone Exams. The PSSAs are administered to students in grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 and focus on mathematics and English language arts. Students in grades 4 and 8 are also given the PSSA in science. The PSSA exam is a standards-based, criterion referenced assessment used to measure "a student's attainment of the academic standards while also determining the degree to which school programs enable students to attain proficiency standards," according to the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The Keystone Exams are a test taken at the end of a course and are also designed to measure proficiency in specific subject areas, like history or algebra. Morgan said that all of the schools in the Wayne Highlands School District earned the status of proficient on the Pennsylvania School Performance Profile. "Every grade level in every school in every subject of the PSSA surpassed the state average in each category," Morgan beamed. In the Preston School, grades 4, 5, and 6 all earned "100 percent advanced/proficient" in the math category. In the Damascus School, sixth grade also scored 100 percent advanced/proficient. Morgan also said that in the Northeastern Educational Intermediate Unit 19 (NEIU), "five Wayne Highlands School District schools are in the top 10 of the School Performance Profile." Taking the top spot is the Wayne Highlands Middle School, scoring 94.1 and second place is held by the Preston School with a score of 92.1 and fourth place is held by the Damascus School with a score of 89.2 The Honesdale High School School "is one of two high schools that placed within the top 10," at number nine with a score of 86.6. The Stourbridge Primary Center closed out the top 10 with a score of 85.8. "Seventy-three of the 79 schools have reported," Morgan said. "We are so proud to have obtained these ranks." High achievement Morgan also said that out of the district, two schools are up for consideration to earn national recognition. Both Preston and Damascus Schools have been awarded the Title I High Achievement award. This distinction is recognized at the state level and is eligible for national recognition. A total of three schools in NEIU-19 were recognized. "We are currently under review," he said. "There is the possibility we could win this award." Damascus School also earned 100 percent proficient/advance in the Algebra Keystone Exam, the Wayne Highlands Middle School earned 95.7 and Preston earned 90.9. "In the all test takers category, Honesdale High School exceeded the state average in each of the Keystone testing areas of Algebra, Biology, and Literature." Morgan also said that the achievement of the district is only possible by the support of not just the entire staff, but the community as well. "We know it is an all hands on deck approach to teaching our kids," he said. "As a community, we should take a moment to be really proud of our kids for what they have done."

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