2008-11-06 / Front Page

Forbes Road Surpasses PSSA Testing Standards

District meets adequate yearly progress; high school receives warning for reading scores
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz STAFF WRITER

The principal of Forbes Road High School took a moment Monday evening to recap Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) testing results for the previous 2007- 08 school year and assured those in attendance that steps are being taken to improve reading scores on a high school level.

Principal Fred Foster informed those on hand at the school board's monthly meeting held November 3 that the high school did not make "adequate yearly progress" in reading. High school students tested include those in grades seven, eight and eleven.

As a result, the high school facility was placed on "warning status" even though the district itself achieved adequate yearly progress for the fifth consecutive year. Reading across the board, according to Foster, has consistently been in the 50th percentile. However, stakes continue to be raised for the number of students needing to reach adequate or proficient status to make AYP standards.

Foster noted steps toward improving the high school's reading scores have already been taken and six students have qualified for tutoring. Known as the Catapult reading program, students completing the program guidelines are eligible to receive a desktop computer.

Foster added he had "nothing to sugarcoat" and, while it isn't mandatory at this warning stage, a school improvement plan is also in the works.

In other matters addressed during the board's 21-minute meeting, a medical leave extension was approved for elementary teacher Mechele Seville. In addition, Heather Hand received authorization for a medical leave of absence.

Jessica Dovey of McConnellsburg and Howard resident Brittany Frost were added to the district's teacher substitute list after completing the Tuscarora Intermediate Unit #11 emergency certification program. The motion was approved subject to the receipt of necessary paperwork and clearances.

Kara Truax was approved to serve as a volunteer elementary girls basketball coach pending all necessary clearances.

The following elementary field trips were accepted as presented to the board: grade three to Old Bedford Village in May; grade six to Washington, D.C., in May; grade one to Shaver's Creek Environmental Center located in Petersburg on April 6; and the elementary chorus to East Juniata High School on April 3.

The Class of 2009 was granted authorization to take several oneday trips instead of an overnight trip.

A crisis management plan approved by the board will be filed with the county Emergency Management Agency, the McConnellsburg state police barracks and the Hustontown Volunteer Fire Co.

The 35 and older recreational basketball league was given permission to use a gymnasium, when available, on Sunday afternoons.

Guidelines for bus driver qualifications were updated to include the need for a copy of a FBI background check (fingerprinting).

The local Girl Scouts will be utilizing an elementary classroom for 1 1/2 hours for meetings on November 19, December 3, December 10, December 17, January 7, January 14, January 21 and January 28.

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