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School test scores are up

4 of 5 Harrison schools removed from probation

by Gail Marsh


Four of the five Harrison County schools that have been on academic probation since December due to low test scores have been upgraded to satisfactory status, according to a preliminary report from the state Department of Education.

Carl Friebel, administrative assistant for planning, research and evaluation, told the Harrison County Board of Education Monday evening that every school in the county improved considerably from last year's Stanford 9 test scores.

The tests were administered statewide in late March and early April, and Harrison County received a preliminary report two weeks ago. County-by-county comparisons will not be available for a few more weeks, Friebel said.

The preliminary report showed that North View Elementary, Lumberport Middle School, South Harrison High School and Lincoln High School all scored at or above the third quartile (50.0) on the standardized achievement tests, which removed them from probationary status.

North View Elementary improved from a 44.3 in 1996-97 to 69.1 in 1997-98, a 24.8 jump. Lumberport Middle improved from 46.1 to 59.0; South Harrison improved from 48.8 to 59.1, and Lincoln High School moved up from 44.6 to 50.3.

The fifth school, Wilsonburg Elementary, improved from a 41.1 score in 1996-97 to a 44.3 in 1997-98. It still fell 5.7 points below the needed 50.0 score.

"Our staff and students have done an outstanding job in working together to bring up these test scores. I commend everyone for their hard work to bring about these positive results," said Robert E. Kittle, Harrison superintendent.

The county's probationary status will not be officially changed until the state department releases a final report in December. At that time, Harrison County should be moved from probationary status to a conditional status, one step closer to full accreditation.

"This is important to us when you realize that we promote our school system to those who may want to locate here. We're well on our way to full accreditation," Friebel said.

In other business, the board:

· Approved on final reading a new limited English proficiency policy that is designed to help students who are learning English as a second language.

· Approved on first reading an updated version of the school board's philosophy, vision, mission and goals statement.

· Approved an extended warranty agreement with McQuay Service of Monroeville, Pa., for maintenance of the new chiller at Lincoln High School.

The next regular board meeting is scheduled for June 2 at 6 p.m. in the auditorium of the school board office on E.B. Saunders Way.

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