POTTSTOWN PA – Achieving “proficient or advanced” ratings on state standardized tests is among measurements on which the Pottsgrove School District will rely to determine whether it is meeting a prime goal contained in its draft version of a three-year comprehensive plan soon to be submitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
The 2013-2017 plan, the result of collaboration between school and community representatives guided by the Bucks County Intermediate Unit, was issued last month and is being promoted now (Tuesday, July 9, 2013) on the district website. The plan presents, in part, a road map for the educational future of Pottsgrove students.
Its first signpost – the chief goal of four – is to ensure the district creates a system that consistently teaches material which meets specific standards for all students at each of its five schools. The plan’s parlance refers to it as “consistent implementation of standards-aligned curricula.”
Success in raising students’ scores on Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) tests and Keystone Exams will be a basic yardstick to gauge how effectively the district hits that target, according to the plan.
Pottsgrove has struggled in recent years to improve its PSSA rankings, and the Board of School Directors indicated during June (2013) budget discussions that some schools might again slip below state expectations when results are issued in the fall. Its problem is not an isolated one, however. As federal statutes annually raise the bar on testing success, and states follow suit, other area districts also find their students falling behind.
The draft plan proposes six different strategies Pottsgrove intends to employ to ensure higher scores, ranging from incorporating researched ideas and learning experiences into lesson plans, to making decisions based on student data collected during teaching.
Goal 2 of the plan dovetails with the first, and aims to develop consistency in teaching methods, or “consistent implementation of effective instructional practices across all classrooms in each school.” Goal 3 coincides, too, in seeking to identify at-risk students as soon as possible, and supporting them with “interventions based upon student needs and includes procedures for monitoring effectiveness.
In its fourth and final goal, the plan seeks to foster a more positive attitude about Pottsgrove from “each member of the district community.” The district hopes to promote, enhance and sustain “a shared vision of positive school climate (that) ensures family and community support of student participation in the learning process.”
The draft plan is currently available for public review and comment at the district office, 1301 Kauffman Rd.
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