Salisbury Press

Tuesday, May 26, 2020


Wednesday, February 6, 2019 by MELISSA BALTAZAR Special to The Press in Local News

Building principals present assessment updates to curriculum and technology committee

Building principals Heather Morningstar, Salisbury High School, Ken Parliman, Salisbury Middle School, Zachary Brem, Harry S Truman Elementary School and Dr. Grace Hartman, Western Salisbury Elementary School provided assessment updates to the curriculum and technology committee Jan. 28 at SHS.

Morningstar said SHS is well above the state average in all areas; Literature Keystone Performance is 16.5 percent above state average at 79.5 percent proficiency. Special education, learning disability students and the Hispanic sub groups are not meeting the established goals.

Biology Keystone performance is at 76.6 percent well above state average. The Hispanic subgroup and learning disability students are not meeting goals.

Math Keystone Performance is at 71.9 percent proficiency, well above state average by 26.4 percent.

Morningstar said there will be collaborative efforts with special education teachers to evaluate programming and continued work with department chairs to refine individualized remediation plans.

Parliman said SMS saw a slight growth in the school performance profile. Sixth and eighth grade students demonstrated growth in Literature. Seventh grade proficient/advanced groups did not demonstrate adequate growth. All grades are below state average in math.

Historically underperforming subgroups have over 60 percent of English Language Arts and 80 percent of math students not reaching proficiency.

Remediation efforts will include redesigning math instruction, an adoption and implementation of discovery techbooks for all grades and implementation of classroom diagnostic tools to identify specific areas of strengths and needs. Administrators will also analyze data sources and establish small group interventions and develop short-term objectives.

Brem reports a slight reduction in school performance profile; however, HST is above average on ELA, math and science. The number of students in all grades identified as proficient/advanced in ELA and science improved each year over a three year average.

Academic challenges include third grade students below state average for proficient/advanced ELA and math ranks and fewer English Language Learner and Special Education students scored proficient/advanced in comparison to other groups.

HST will focus on providing after school math tutoring for students in need; continuation of implementing a writing workshop and benchmark assessment systems. The benchmark systems will be used to assess students individual abilities and group them based on ability level rather than age/grades to maximize instructional time.

Collaboration and consultations will continue with experts to modify current instructional practices. There will be continued collaborations with elementary liason teams to address gaps in curriculum and review instructional areas.

Hartman said WSE students performed above state average with the exception of learning support which did not meet the goals. Test scores in ELA and math improved over last year. The school exceeded performance targets for attendance and college and career measures.

The school implemented a school wide positive behavior interventions and support program intended to look at the whole student in terms of social/emotional factors that can impact students’ academic success as well as supporting their educational and learning goals.

Social/emotional challenges for WSE presents in the form of supporting kids that did not receive early intervention when needed. Administrators are seeing a growing number of trauma affected students and are working to help all students grow in persistence and resilience.

Going forward some remediation efforts will focus on recognition in student leadership outside of the school setting, utilizing behavior therapists, coordinating student led conferences and refining the school-wide positive behavior intervention and support program as well as parent participation.

Administrators said they are seeing students moving into the district from Philadelphia, New York, Allentown and Bethlehem.

School Director Sam DeFrank said not only is it challenging for teachers to educate the students, it is challenging for the students moving in and out of the district.