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MARION CENTER: Assessment scores show improvement

by on August 19, 2014 10:54 AM

MARION CENTER — Charles Adamchik, the Marion Center Area School District’s director of curriculum, instruction and assessment, told school directors Monday there are some positive findings in the raw data from the district’s student assessment tests.

“We don’t have all the answers to your questions,” Adamchik said. “Eventually we will,” and a more detailed presentation will probably be ready for the school board by October.

“I see some positive signs, areas where we had success and grew,” he continued.

As an example, Adamchik said the raw preliminary results of the Pennsylvania System of School Assessments given to students in grades 3 through 8 showed 72.9 percent of sixth-graders were proficient or advanced in math when they took the exam this spring. That figure was up from 64.8 percent of the same students who were proficient or advanced in math in the spring of 2013.

Similarly, the percentage of sixth-graders proficient or advanced in reading also increased, from 54 percent in the spring of 2013 to 60.7 percent this spring.

Adamchik told the directors the school district’s data teams have already started analyzing the results from the assessments and will use the information to devise curriculum changes and plan for professional development and new teaching strategies to boost the students’ academic performance.

High school Principal Matthew Jioio and elementary Principal Susan DeVaughn outlined plans for student remediation, including using three teachers from the Ameri-Corps Volunteer program as tutors.

DeVaughn also told the school board that students in grades 3 through 6 will have double blocks of math — a total of 80 minutes daily — in the school year that starts next week.

And parents of kindergarten students in the coming school year will see a new “parent-friendly” report card that is more specific, more aligned to standards and more detailed on what will be assessed in each grading period.

Ken Kirkland, the district’s maintenance and transportation supervisor, told the directors the longest bus rides in the new school year are projected to be 50 minutes for some secondary students and 52 minutes for some elementary students. Some of the bus routes will be reversed in the afternoon so that students who had the longest ride in the morning will have the shortest ride going home at the end of the school day.

In other action the directors:

• Accepted the resignation of Autumn Kunkle as a half-time long-term substitute and approved the hiring of Lindsay Strength as a half-time long-term substitute for language arts from Aug. 25 through Jan. 20, 2015.

• Hired Erin Yuhaschek as a day-to-day substitute from Aug. 25 through Feb. 23, 2015, at a daily rate of $101.09.

Randy Wells has been a reporter and staff writer at The Indiana Gazette since 1988. His regular assignments include coverage of the Indiana County commissioners, Indiana Borough council and the Marion Center Area School District. His email address is
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