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Shippensburg elementary schools’ staffs work to improve test scores

14 November 2012 No Comment

By BRIAN HALL
Staff writer

SHIPPENSBURG — Nancy Grayson Elementary School Principal Sue Martin told the Shippensburg Area school board Monday that staff has been working diligently to improve reading performance in the building.

Students scored 79.3 percent on the 2011 Pennsylvania System of School Assessment. Amid rising PSSA requirements in both math and reading, neither James Burd or Nancy Grayson elementary schools made AYP in 2012.

“In our collaborative team meetings we’re taking time to look at data, look at our instructional practices to improve upon those so that our PSSA scores and other assessment scores keep moving along in the right direction,” said Martin.

A tutoring program with Shippensburg University students aims to improve performance of Grayson students.

“They’re working with the students we want to bump up to the next level,” said Martin.

Martin and James Burd Elementary Principal Kenneth Jenkins gave the school board reports for their building Monday. Middle school principals provided similar reports last month.

During her presentation, Martin also said 43.7 percent of Grayson students are considered economically disadvantaged. She was supportive of the PTO and its $51,300 annual operating budget, which provides field trips and other educational opportunities for students.

“We intend to move forward the vision with pursuing excellence, building character and developing relationships so that that our children at our school have a quality academic experience,” said Martin.

Jenkins said the goal of the Burd staff is for 75 percent of students to reach benchmark in reading on classroom assessments.

Jenkins also said the school has seen positive results from its new Principal’s 200 Club behavior program. Staff created a behavioral expectations matrix for all situations and areas of the building.

The Shippensburg Area School District Foundation also announced recipients for its mini-grants at the meeting. The foundation handed out more than $7,000 in grants to teachers across the district, with each grant award not exceeding $1,000.

Some of the highlights included Sharon Boyles from the high school received $1,000 for a national EMT curriculum; Carol Nollenberger received $871 for career resources and multicultural books for the high school library; Bryce Pelow received $1,000 for an advanced placement calculus project; Cara Varholy and April Hoover received $996 for a multi-cultural literature program for seventh-graders; and Renee Stewart; and Boyles received $981 for a live surgery field trip at the Whitaker Center.

Board members Dwayne Burt and Troy Burkholder were absent.

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Brian Hall can be reached at 262-4811 and bkhall@publicopinionnews.com, or follow him on Twitter @bkhallpo.

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