'Warning' label removed from Pa. district

July 18, 2007|by JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, PA. - The Waynesboro Area School District has been removed from state "warning status" after bearing that classification for a year with just five of Pennsylvania's 501 school districts.

The local school district was on the Pennsylvania Department of Education's warning list due to an unacceptable graduation rate and low secondary level math scores on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment standardized tests, according to published reports.

Continued placement on the list could have meant corrective action and eventual takeover by the state.

However, visibly pleased district administrators announced Tuesday that preliminary information from the education department shows that Waynesboro has met so-called "adequate yearly progress" (AYP) standards. They are a component of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

"Our school district and all subgroups (of students) have made AYP," Superintendent Barry L. Dallara said.

"We don't have the full report yet ... (but) we've made AYP for every building in the district," Assistant Superintendent Gloria Walker said.


She attributed much of the success - which included an 11 percent hike in 11th-grade math scores - to the 4Sight testing used in 2006-07 to prepare students for the state tests.

"We analyzed those test scores and the teachers went through them with a fine-tooth comb," Walker said.

Teachers knew how each of their students was performing in certain areas, she said.

The graduation rate went from 79.11 percent for the class of 2005 to 83.04 percent for the class of 2006, according to the preliminary report.

The district unsuccessfully appealed the state's previous determination about the graduation rate, saying internal child accounting policies contributed to the decrease from the class of 2004's 89 percent rate to the class of 2005's 79 percent rate. The state's target was 80 percent graduation or any improvements over the previous year.

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