What happens when a student scores below the proficient level?

Teachers provide a variety of supports for students within the classroom including different levels of instruction, reteaching of concepts, and individual explanations. Reading specialists and reading aides supplement the Language Arts program opportunities within regular education. In addition to the opportunities during the school day, various after-school and summer classes are offered to selected students. A collaborative intervention planning process is recommended for some students whose academic progress appears to be lagging. This team process, which includes teacher and parent input, involves gathering information, trying new interventions, and determining a long-term plan for academic success. If appropriate, recommendation for further testing may come from this team. Students who have been determined to have particular needs as defined under Special Education law (Chapter 14 of PA Code and IDEA federal legislation) will access a program that is individually designed.

How are the needs of highly capable students met?

The different levels of instruction within a classroom offer opportunities for study of greater depth, higher level, and/or more varied topics. Sometimes by assignment and sometimes by choice, students participate in enrichment activities as appropriate. Students who are identified as mentally gifted under the guidelines provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Education through Chapter 16 of PA Code participate in a program designed specifically for their needs.

PSSA

The Pennsylvania System of School Assessment is designed to determine the level of proficiency for each student in attaining these goals. A schedule for standardized testing is established by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Under the current schedule, the following grades will be tested during a window of time in the Spring:

  • Grade 3 – Reading and Math
  • Grade 4 – Reading and Math
  • Grade 5 – Reading, Math and Writing
  • Grade 6 – Reading and Math
  • Grade 7 – Reading and Math
  • Grade 8 – Reading, Math and Writing
  • Grade 11 – Reading, Math and Writing

A Science assessment is expected to be added during the 2007-08 school year. It is the responsibility of individual school districts to assess students’ progress toward goals for the other Academic Standards and at other grade levels. There are four levels of proficiency: Advanced, Proficient, Basic, and Below Basic. All students are expected to score at the Proficient or Advanced level in all subjects.

Pennsylvania Academic Standards

Across the state of Pennsylvania all school districts plan curriculum that supports the achievement of the Pennsylvania Academic Standards. These standards are statements of expected learning and are written for each subject area, applicable to each grade level K-12 in a sequential and developmentally appropriate way. Standards are established for:

  • Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening
  • Math
  • Science and Technology
  • Environment and Ecology
  • History
  • Geography
  • Civics and Government
  • Economics
  • Arts and Humanities
  • Health, Safety, and Physical Education
  • Family and Consumer Science
In two other areas the writing of Standards is in process:

  • Career Education and Work
  • World Language
As planned courses are written and the full picture of expectation is considered, a balance of content across the grades and within the school day is crafted.