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Principal pleased with SAT results, seeks improvement

September 21, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Waynesboro Area Senior High School Principal Jon Bilbo proudly shared SAT results with the Waynesboro Area School Board on Tuesday, then explained what the school is doing to improve scores on the Pennsylvania System of Schools Assessment exams.

Eleventh-grade PSSA scores from the 2005-06 school year contributed to the district being placed in "warning status" by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The status could lead to a required school improvement plan if problem areas are not corrected in coming years.

Bilbo said the high school has set five goals:

· Ensure every student receives a diploma.

· Meet the state's adequate yearly progress targets.

· Implement a schoolwide system of quarterly student assessments.

· Use technology in instruction.

· Address financial and facility resources.

"As we go through this process, we expect instruction to change to meet student needs," Bilbo said.

Waynesboro Area Senior High School and Greencastle-Antrim High School were the only two school districts in Franklin County, Pa., to see an increase in SAT scores in a year when combined math and reading scores dropped seven points nationwide.

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Waynesboro Area Senior High School's 166 SAT participants in 2005-06 had an average math score of 506, compared to the 500 average on the state level and 518 at the national level. The critical reading scores at the high school resulted in an average of 513, compared to 493 at the state level and 503 at the national level.

"We had over 100 students take the various Advanced Placement tests this past spring," Bilbo said.

Of the 287 class of 2006 graduates, 198 are pursuing continuing education and six are serving in the military, he said.

He also reported an 84 percent graduation rate for the class of 2006, which would be a nearly 5 percent increase over the class of 2005. That takes into consideration a change in child accounting practices, district officials said.

The state identified the graduation rate for the class of 2005 as one of the primary factors leading to the district's warning status.

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