The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


September 20, 2012

3 Shikellamy schools fail to meet PSSA requirements

SUNBURY — The superintendent of the Shikellamy School District said three of the six schools have not met requirements of the Pennsylvania Adequate Yearly Progress assessment test, and that’s a problem.

A big one.

However, Pat Kelley is already taking action.

Shikellamy High School now has not meet AYP requirements for the second consecutive year and is under state corrective action, he said. The district will have to submit a plan to the state Department of Education on how the problem will be fixed.

The Chief Shikellamy Elementary School and the Shikellamy Middle School also did not meet AYP requirements and have been put on warning, but the state also will require corrective plans for them.

The Pennsylvania System of School Assessment measures how well students have achieved in reading, mathematics, science and writing according to the state’s academic standards. According to the federal No Child Left Behind Act, students must be 100 percent proficient in reading and math by 2014. The federal act also requires states to determine annually whether schools and districts meet AYP standards.

Kelley released the district’s results for 2011-12 on Thursday night.

“We didn’t do as well as we would have liked,” he said. “I am already working on this, and I am speaking with teachers and administrators, and we are getting a plan together.”

State officials will now monitor the high school, but Kelley said he isn’t worried about that because he will be monitoring the situation himself.

“We will do everything we can to fix this,” the new superintendent said. “Whatever it takes, we will do.”

Kelley, who recently was hired as the district’s top administrator, inherited a slew of nagging problems, including a 2010 incident where a Shikellamy math teacher allegedly gave some 11th-graders test questions before they took the assessment exam.

The district reported the alleged violation almost 29 months ago, on April 27, 2010. Written notification dated April 29, 2010, followed.

The alleged misconduct happened the same year that the district’s math scores for 11th-graders jumped by 31.2 percentage points. Math scores fell back 23.6 percent in 2011.

Documents obtained by The Daily Item last year show that a student reported the improper test preparations to a teacher, who notified administrators. Then-Principal Terry Roden completed an investigation, which he described in a report to former district superintendent and current school director James Hartman. That probe determined the teacher had copied questions from a prior year’s state test for a study guide, and five of those questions, including an open-ended question, which is worth more points than the multiple-choice questions that make up the majority of the exam, appeared on the 2010 test.

State officials did not return phone calls on Thursday regarding where the investigation stands.

Kelley said he has no information about the alleged incident, and that he is more concerned with getting test scores back up.

“We need to concentrate on fixing the problem,” he said. “All I know is what is in front of me right now, and we need to understand how important these tests are. We have bright kids, and we have the ability to do well on these tests.”

Kelley said he was not surprised to learn the three schools failed.

“The proficiency rate is increasing over the next three years,” he said. “It is about 10 percent a year, so I am not surprised with this. We just need to work on it, and we need to find a solution.”

Kelley said the closing of the C.W. Rice school and Sunbury Middle School last year had no bearing on test scores.

“I don’t think that has anything to do with this,” he said. “I really do believe the proficiency rate has everything to do with this.”

Kelley will be announcing the scores at the Sept. 27 school board meeting.


Text Only
  • dogs31.jpg Is Spike spiteful?

    Dog is often considered man’s best friend, but a recent study shows he may be a little green over how much time you spend with other pooches.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • CORBETT_TomC.jpg Corbett: VanKirk helped to save the world

    Gov. Tom Corbett today issued the following statement on the death of Northumberland County native Theodore “Dutch” VanKirk, the last surviving crew member of the Enola Gay:

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Afraid of grandson? "Now I am," Amanda Trometter says

    Erick Trometter slept with hunting and butcher knives beside his bed while living with the grandmother he allegedly attacked on the morning he was shot after allegedly pulling a knife on a city police officer.

    July 30, 2014

  • vk1.jpg Ted VanKirk: Seen from above

    The Daily Item is republishing online its spring 2012 interview with Northumberland native Ted “Dutch” VanKirk, the navigator of the Enola Gay, which dropped the first of two atomic bombs on Japan in 1945. The story appeared in Inside Pennsylvania magazine. VanKirk died Monday in Georgia at age 93.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • vankirk_ted1.jpg “The Japanese were beaten before we even dropped the bomb”

    Compared to the 58 other missions they ran together, the one they were assigned to carry out on Aug. 6, 1945 was easy.
    There would be no return fire, flying conditions were ideal, and if all went according to plan, they would be back to the base in Tinian by nightfall.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Ritz-Craft Ritz-Craft to hire 60 for Mifflinburg plant

    MIFFLINBURG — Sixty jobs are coming to Mifflinburg as a Ritz-Craft production facility that went dark seven years ago amid the housing downturn will come back on line during the next few months, company officials announced Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Selinsgrove man dies when tractor flips in Chapman Township

    PORT TREVORTON — A 57-year-old Selinsgrove man died Tuesday evening when the farm tractor he was driving overturned and pinned him beneath it, according to Snyder County Coroner Bruce Hummel.

    July 29, 2014

  • VanKirk 'Real hero' of World War II dies

    ATLANTA, Ga. — Theodore “Dutch” VanKirk, the last surviving crew member of the Enola Gay, which dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, died Monday of natural causes in the retirement home where he lived in Georgia. He was 93.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mayor: Rental ban for drug dealers a success

    SUNBURY — A controversial landlord-tenant ordinance passed by the City Council in 2012 has become one of Sunbury’s “better success stories,” Mayor David Persing said Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014

  • Mom cited for allegedly leaving baby in car for 12 minutes

    LEWISBURG — A summary citation carrying a maximum fine of $127.50 was filed Tuesday against a Lewisburg woman accused of leaving her 10-month-old baby unattended for 12 minutes in a car in Union County on July 21.

    July 29, 2014

The Daily Marquee

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.