15 Sep 2014
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Riverview High School Misses State PSSA Targets in Math

The district as a whole met adequate yearly progress, but it has been put on a warning status by the state department of education for its 11th-grade math scores.

Riverview High School Misses State PSSA Targets in Math

juniors failed to meet state goals on the math portion of the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment test.

District administration officials presented preliminary PSSA scores and observations at the school board's study session on Monday night. Students at the high school level met targets in the reading portion of the test. The elementary and middle school students met targets in both categories.

The district as a whole made adequate yearly progress—AYP.

This year's state target was to have at least 72 percent of district students proficient in reading and at least 67 percent proficient in math—the goals are 9 and 10 percent higher than last year's, respectively.

The targets are set to jump to 81 percent in reading and 78 percent in math next year.

At the high school this year, 78 percent of students were proficient or advanced in reading and 53 percent were proficient or advanced in math.

High school principal Jay Moser said he simply isn't happy with the school's math scores.

"We have a lot more work to do," he said. "We have to be better. We're good now, not great. We're getting close, but we have a few hurdles to get through."

Superintendent Charles Erdeljac said he met with math teachers at the secondary level this week to discuss a course of action to improve this year's PSSA math scores. He said officials implemented a new math program, Connected Math 2, last year to help students with their math skills.

In June, parents were concerned that the program might have played a role in the dip of PSSA math scores at the junior high level, but school officials said the dip was expected and was a part of the learning curve associated with new program implementation.

Erdeljac said the best thing for officials to do is to continue in the course they have set on.

"We need to make Connected Math Riverview's program," he said.

Erdeljac said officials are going to look into hiring outside consultants to observe and analyze the district's math classes.

"We're going to kick it up five notches at the high school," he said. 

Lynn Black, the district's director of student achievement, said administration is looking into adding student PSSA scores on transcripts to make them feel more accountable and aware of their scores.

School board member John Hackworth said it's disturbing to see the district's progressive decline in math. While the subject might not be as easy as reading for some, Hackworth said students still should be proficient.

"I recognize it's more challenging, but that doesn't mean it can't be done," he said.

Other strategies include focusing on what is going on in the classroom, monitoring instructional practices and teacher commitment, having a targeted assistance program, hosting a parent information night, looking at student achievement data and implementing instructional practices.

Moser said administration also is going to fine students if they are tardy to school 10 or more times.

More overall PSSA scores:

Third grade—88 are proficient or advanced in reading and 94 in math.

Fourth grade—87 are proficient or advanced in reading and 94 in math.

Fifth grade—79 are proficient or advanced in reading and 89 in math.

Sixth grade—84 are proficient or advanced in reading and 89 in math.

Seventh grade—79 are proficient or advanced in reading and 70 in math.

Eighth grade—85 are proficient or advanced in reading and 71 in math.

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