POTTSTOWN PA – Students at only one of five Pottsgrove School District schools – Ringing Rocks Elementary – achieved what Pennsylvania views as “adequate yearly progress (AYP)” in raising learners’ proficiency in math and reading, administrators conceded Tuesday (Sept. 11, 2012) to the Board of School Directors. The remainder – Pottsgrove High, Pottsgrove Middle, and West and Lower Pottsgrove elementaries, didn’t meet state expectations, they said.
Although now official, the announcement by Director of Education and Assessment Dr. Todd Davies was neither new or unexpected. Because federal regulations tied to education funding require it, the district about a month ago similarly alerted parents of students at affected schools.
AYP is demanded under the federal government’s 10-year-old “No Child Left Behind” Act. Its intent is to raise educational levels – how well kids can read, and how accurately they can calculate – across all grades of students nationwide. According to Davies, that didn’t happen during the 2011-2012 academic year at any Pottsgrove building overall except Ringing.
Instead, the high school missed its AYP target for a third consecutive year; the middle school and Lower Pottsgrove both missed for a second year; and West Pottsgrove, which successfully made AYP during 2011, also missed its target. Ringing, on the other hand, has had two consecutive years of successes.
Reaction by members of the current school board, in sharp contrast to their predecessors, was subdued and muted.
During each of the past three years, when AYP results – particularly those of the high school – had been released, several previous directors were openly critical of the district’s lack of progress. By comparison, only one board member commented on Davies’ overview report Tuesday, and that was to praise Pottsgrove’s faculty.
“I’m very positive for Pottsgrove,” director Patricia Grimm offered. “We’ve got a long way to go, but I think we have the team in place to get the job done,” she said.
The building-by-building, grade, and demographic numbers for just how well, or how poorly, students fared have not yet been released by the state Department of Education. They are not expected until October, after all districts have exhausted their ability to appeal some of the results and rankings. A more thorough public examination of those numbers is anticipated then.
To that end, Davies reported he had already planned what is being billed as a “community connection” meeting for Oct. 2 (Tuesday) from 7-9 p.m. at the library in the high school, 1345 Kauffman Rd., to answer parents’ questions and talk about the district’s “blueprint for improvement.” The event will be open to the public.
Related (to the Pottsgrove Board of School Directors’ Sept. 11 meeting):
- ‘Grove Issues 100+ Payments For Extracurricular Work
- Four Of 5 Pottsgrove Schools Missed Progress Targets
- Pottsgrove Promises Fix For 3-To-A-Seat Busing Worries