Octorara Board Meeting Reflection Paper

Decent Essays
The Octorara Board of Directors held their Facilities and Policy Committee Meetings and the Work Session Meeting on Monday, November 14, 2016. Eight of the nine members were in attendance, Hank Oleyniczak was absent.

2016 Student Achievement and Growth Measure: District and Building Response

Elena Wilson, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, lead a presentation to address questions and concerns about the 2016 Pennsylvania School Performance Profiles. For those interested, please go watch the video on The Cube or (eventually) YouTube. However, while interesting, it is dry. The presentation included a look at data points, a list of action items for improvement, each principal talking about their school, and look at positives. It is a lot.
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Rohrer stated the number was roughly 80 out of a class of 200. After the meeting, I asked Dr. Newcome for clarification. He stated the number taking the SATs has traditionally fallen within 42 and 47 percent. You with me so far? So, if 80 students take the SATs, and 87.7 percent pass, then roughly 70 students are passing. This means only 35 percent of ALL students are meeting the SAT benchmark for College Readiness.

Well, when we look at the School Performance Profile scores, 35 percent of ALL students meeting the SAT benchmark for College Readiness is a predictable number and reflective of the District's academic achievement. I know, Iknow... some will say, "Only Tim can turn a positive into a negative." NO! This is about taking an honest and realistic look at our numbers.

Our JSHS scores in MathAlgebrara is 42.6, in ELA/Literature is 59.7, and in Science/Biology is 51.1. This means a range of 35 and 41 percent of ALL students achieving the SAT benchmark seems about right. Don't you agree? Ultimately, the number of students being tested is too small to say the 87.7 percent pass rate has any real value. Ultimately, those actual students taking and passing the SATs conforms with other performance
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Well, there are families that don't have the option to move. They bought their home during the housing boom, and their home value has not recovered enough for them to move without losing money. They are stuck.

School Choice gives all families more choices in education... choices that are traditionally limited to those with the financial means to either send their child to a private school or move to a better district. However,with school choice opening up more, and the ability for families to receive a tuition credit (likely paid by the District with "our" Federal funds), I expect our enrollment to continue to drop, but at an even faster pace.

So, what will the Octorara Area School Board of Directors do to adapt if this becomes the new reality?
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