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School Performance Profile Scores
Preston Pratt

Mapletown Makes Strides with SPP Score.

The overwhelming majority of high schools in the Herald-Standard coverage area saw declining scores on their state-issued school report cards for last school year.

The state Department of Education last week released its annual School Performance Profile scores that assess the performance of public schools across the state for the 2016-17 school year.

The grades, which replaced Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) as a way to measure school performance in 2013, assess each school’s performance on a 0-100 scale based on standardized testing, student improvement, advanced course offerings and graduation rates, among other criteria.

Belle Vernon Area led all area high schools with a score of 88.1.

“I am very satisfied,” said Belle Vernon Superintendent Dr. John Wilkinson. “My high school administrative team and teachers have worked very hard to achieve this score. We are satisfied, but will continue to work hard every day to reach the mid-90s.”

In past years, the state considered a score of 70 or above to be a passing rate. No benchmark has been announced the past two years.

Only five area high schools saw their scores increase on the newly released grades.

Belle Vernon Area, Connellsville Area, Mapletown (Southeastern Greene), Mount Pleasant Area and Waynesburg Central (Central Greene) were the only area high schools to see improvements in their scores.

The Belle Vernon score has climbed nearly 10 points over the last two years, growth that Wilkinson attributes to increased teamwork between principals, teachers, students and parents.

“We have altered and improved upon our curriculum. We are finally seeing the fruits of our ‘curriculum labor,’” he said, citing new, challenging curriculum and improvements to specific courses, like biology.

The district has also provided additional professional development for teachers of Advanced Placement courses, and has improved its assessment practices to focus on constructed response from students, he said.

SPP scores were also issued to elementary and middle schools for the 2016-17 school year and can be viewed online.

This marks the last time the School Performance Profile will be used to measure school achievement as the state prepares to transition to the use of the Future Ready PA Index, a new school report card that takes the focus off of standardized testing as a primary measuring stick for a school’s academic success.

The Future Ready PA Index will provide school-level data and a broad range of achievement measures related to English language acquisition, career readiness and access to advanced coursework. It will launch in the 2018-2019 school year.

The following is a ranking of area high schools by building academic score as presented on the School Performance Profile:

1. Belle Vernon Area High School: 88.1

2. Uniontown Area High School: 80.9

3. Connellsville Area High School: 80.3

4. Southmoreland High School: 79.4

5. California Area High School: 78.7

6. Laurel Highlands High School: 75.1

7. Mount Pleasant Area High School: 72.9

8. Ringgold High School: 69.1

9. Frazier High School: 68.2

10. Yough Senior High School: 68

11. Mapletown Junior-Senior High School: 67.1

12. Waynesburg Central High School: 66.9

13. Albert Gallatin Area High School: 62.7

14. Charleroi Area High School: 60.9

15. Jefferson-Morgan Middle-High School: 59.4

16. Monessen High School: 56.7

17. West Greene High School: 55

18. Brownsville Area High School: 52.1

19. Carmichaels Area High School: 51.2

A building academic score was not provided for Bethlehem-Center Senior High School.