The mission of the Pine-Richland School District is to focus on learning for every student every day. The vision at PRSD emphasizes the fact that learning is reflected in both achievement and growth. In the eighth year of publication, the format and structure of this report have been refined each year to provide descriptive statistics and analyses across a series of standardized assessments.
Within the Baldrige Performance Excellence framework, “LeTCI” is used as an acronym to describe evaluation factors for reviewing results (i.e., Levels, Trends, ComparisoContinuous ns, and Integration). We have again utilized those factors in evaluating the results. Various types of PSSA and School Performance Profile comparisons with high performing schools and school districts are included in our presentation this year. We plan to further strengthen this approach in future years for the other assessments. The emphasis on both process and results is captured in the image to the right.
As a district, we are focusing on process and results. Building principals, assistant principals, Academic Leadership Council Members, and our K-12 classroom teachers have been actively engaged in the development of these reports annually. We have been intentional in celebrating strengths and identifying opportunities for improvement. The results in this report are directly integrated with other strategic initiatives related to the model for teaching and learning, in-depth program review, curriculum review process, and instructional strategies focus. Short-term and long-term goals of the strategic plan influence the educational program for students and the learning results. Within the strengths, we are working to highlight areas of success and effective instructional integration, assessment analysis, and revisions to curriculum and have lifted them up through the examples discussed as a part of the accompanying Joint Governance Committee meeting, as shared by our educators engaged in the direct work. We intend to communicate this knowledge and key learning across our organization through our Academic Leadership Council, principals, and grade level/departmental teams to continue our focus on success and iterations of improvement.
Given the impact of the pandemic, all state-based standardized testing for the PSSA and Keystone were halted in 2019-2020 and then began again in 2020-2021, but with interpretive cautions issued. Consequently, the data represented in the tables are reflective of data from the 2018-2019 school year as most recent for those assessments, with updates for 2019-2021 being made only for the SAT, ACT, and AP exams. While testing did occur in the 2020-2021 school year for the PSSA and Keystone exams, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a memo cautioning against the comparisons and trends based on the number of factors that different between the 2020-2021 school year and prior years within an organization and the many non-standardized differences in the learning models between school districts within that year, “necessitating caution in the interpretation and use of results” (PDE, 2021). It is important to note that although Pine-Richland School District used the originally-designated testing window in the spring of 2021, districts across the Commonwealth were permitted to defer testing until the Fall of 2021. As such, the State will not be finalizing assessment results for all PA schools until February of 2022. Even at that time, districts are urged not to compare results given the lack of standardization in many aspects. Recommendations were made to: (1) Focus on describing and contextualizing performance; (2) Use results and other evidence to inform plans for the 2021-2022 school year; and (3) Avoid data comparisons and attributions (PDE, 2021). As such, these results are pulled into their own section for full transparency and to prevent comparison to other years of performance.
As a disclaimer to all who review this report, it is important to note the narrow focus on standardized achievement test results (i.e., PSSA, Keystone Exams, SAT, ACT, and AP). These are important and high stakes assessments. However, we also know that measures of school effectiveness and learning are far more comprehensive than the information in this report. Those measures include a holistic look at our schools and students, such as: classroom-based assessments; school climate; participation in extra- and co-curricular activities; graduation rates; attendance; discipline; post-secondary readiness; social-emotional development; wellness; and more.
Our focal question continues to be “How do we focus on academic learning for every student every day?” The learning system at Pine-Richland School District is illustrated by the following image, allowing us to focus on “Data for Action”:
Model for Teaching and Learning
Multi-Tier System of Supports (MTSS)
- ELA and Math Decision Trees
- Research-Based Interventions
Continuum of Services
- Special Education
- Gifted Education
- Other Programming
Key highlights of this year’s report include:
- Focused attention on using data to support student learning with an emphasis on local assessments, universal screeners, and common assessments
- Streamlined reporting of key measures with an intentional separation of results from 2020-2021 from that of prior years
- Continued focus on “data for action” in its second year with an expansion of common assessments to include collaborative analysis and revision to instructional strategies, curriculum and identified resources, and/or the assessment structure and questions to be more effective in our approach to learning
Areas of action include:
- Continued examination and revisions of curriculum, assessment, and instruction at all grade levels
- Integration of regular, collaborative data analysis to replicate best practices among teachers and to understand the expressed differences in mastery among our learners and their pandemic educational model experiences and effectiveness (e.g. common assessment analysis and action plans)
- Ensure alignment and effectiveness of MTSS interventions to meet students’ unique needs
- Establish a systematic approach and consistent implementation of curricular resources and instructional strategies