Octorara’s Academic Performance Numbers Come Up Short

Octorara’s Academic Performance Numbers Come Up Short

On Sunday, Parkesburg Today published an Octorara press release “announcing Octorara would use data from Pennsylvania’s School Performance Profile (SPP) to assess the academic performance of each of its schools.”

How do scores at Octorara’s four schools compare to the scores of corresponding schools in neighboring school districts at the start of the measurement process?  Not great.

Because each district proportions their L-12 grades differently, doing a direct district-by-district comparison is difficult.  However by comparing SPP results from early K-6 grade schools and 9-12 grade schools a performance picture starts to emerge.

High School (Grades 9-12)

  • Octorara Jr / Sr High School – 72.2
  • Oxford High School – 72.9
  • Pequea Valley – 82.7

* Academic Performance Data for Coatesville, Avon Grove, Kennett, Unionville and Solanco high schools is not currently available due to corrections each school will make in its end-of-course designations for students taking the Keystone Exams.   Data is expected to be available by January 2014.

Elementary School (Grades K-6)

  • Octorara Elementary Schools (2) – 75.1 to 77.8
  • Oxford Elementary Schools (4) – 80.2 to 85.6 (with one school not reporting)
  • Pequea Elementary Schools (2) – 74.5 to 90.8
  • Solanco Elementary Schools (4) – 71.0 to 88.7
  • Coatesville Elementary Schools (6) – 57.6 to 78.1
  • Avon Grove Elementary Schools (2) – 82.1 to 84.1
  • Kennett Elementary Schools (4) – 86.2 to 92.4 (with one school not reporting)
  • Unionville Elementary Schools (4) 87.3 to 95.3

As the press release promises Octorara’s administrators will take “closer look at its School Performance profile data during the School Board meeting next Monday evening saying the presentation will “begin the public conversation on school improvement as it relates to School Performance Profile data.”

Seeing Octorara’s high school and elementary school scores fall beneath every neighboring school district’s results except Coatesville (Thank goodness for Coatesville!), its more than a bit polyannaish to suggest these results will “begin” the conversation.

Seems like the conversation about academic performance across Octorara’s four schools, or the lack of it, has been going on and on and on since the districts inception over 5o years ago.

Make no mistake, generally speaking the Octorara community is pleased with the substance and quality of an Octorara education.  That said, these SPP numbers triple-underscore, no quadruple underscore if that’s possible, the “room for improvement” suggested by the press release.

Lets hope Octorara’s administrators understand the community’s sense of urgency and come prepared next week with concrete ideas to boost these scores and lift student classroom and academic performance.

Let’s hope.


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