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                      Integrated math out; algebra in at Greencastle (PA) (2/02/2012)

Class changes likely at Pa. high school

February 02, 2012|By ROXANN MILLER |

GREENCASTLE, Pa. — Students at Greencastle-Antrim High School could see changes to their math and English curriculum, if the school board approves the school’s 2012-13 Program of Studies.

At Thursday’s Greencastle-Antrim School Board meeting, Principal Edward Rife said the high school’s department heads and improvement team have been analyzing student data to evaluate current classes.

“As you are aware, (the high school) is on a warning list this year because of our PSSA (Pennsylvania System of School Assessment) math scores,” Rife said.

He said school officials are working on a School Level Plan (formerly known as a School Improvement Plan) to be submitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

During the review process, initial Keystone Exam scores in Algebra I, for the high school, were lower than expected.

But he said there also is a need to add upper-level math courses for students performing well in the middle school.

For those struggling in math, Rife recommended eliminating integrated math courses, and adding a full year of algebra and a full-year of geometry.

“The addition of statistics would meet the need for the growing number of upper-level math students who have accelerated by taking algebra I and geometry in the middle school,” Rife said. “An increasing number of colleges require students to take courses in statistics.”

While the high school met Adequate Yearly Progress in reading, data revealed there were areas in need of improvement, Rife said.

For students to be better prepared for the PSSA test and Keystone Exams in both English Composition and English Literature, Rife recommended more rigorous courses for upper-level students.

Rife recommended that an English 10 Honors course be added to the curriculum, an American Literature course become the third required English course and English enrichment courses be offered for struggling students.

None of the changes would cost the district more money or require additional staffing positions, Rife said.

The board is expected to vote on the changes at its Feb. 16 meeting that begins at 6 p.m. in the Greencastle-Antrim Middle School library.