EHS & Cocalico receive top performance scores in Lancaster

By on November 11, 2015

The Pennsylvania Department of Education recently released the 2014-15 School Performance Profile (SPP) scores for all high schools in the state.

Ephrata High School received the highest SPP score in Lancaster County and ranked 16th in the state with a score of 95.3 out of 100. This is an increase of approximately six points from the previous school year.

Cocalico High School recorded the second best mark in Lancaster, with a 93, dropping just one point from a year ago.

Ephrata jumped almost six points from its 2014 score, which not only put it at the top but was one of just four schools in the county to eclipse the 90 mark. In addition to Cocalico, Penn Manor ranked third at 91, after dropping two points from 2014, while Warwick ranked fourth, after dropping six points to 90.

The School Performance Profile scores are derived from various factors including standardized test scores, graduation rates, attendance, Advanced Placement (AP) college credit course enrollment, and more.

“Our students, teachers, and staff deserve the credit for this achievement. An increased SPP score demonstrates our district initiatives are making a difference. Over the last two years, we have used personalized data to address students’ individual needs to help ensure all students reach their full potential,” said Dr. Brian Troop, superintendent.

More technology is being implemented in small group learning environments district-wide, which the district administration feels has positively impacted students’ growth and higher test scores.

“We owe it to our community and students to always have a mindset of improvement. Our recent SPP score indicates we are on the right track and has energized our administration and teachers to keep moving in a positive direction,” added Troop.

As for Cocalico, not only did they rank second highest in the county, one published report had them being one of only four schools in the region to maintain an A on the past three out of four years in the SPP.

“We are very proud of the consistent performance of CHS over time,” said Cocalico Superintendent Dr. Bruce Sensenig. “You can have ups and downs, good years and bad years with different classes, but the consistency over several years tells a lot. It means the system is focused and on target. Teachers’ collaboration and instruction is lining up with the written and tested curriculum.”

School Performance Profiles are typically calculated for all schools within a district. However, this year the state decided not to provide scores for elementary and middle schools. The one-year break came after changes were made in the 2014-15 Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) tests, the standardized tests for students in Grades 3-8. High school profiles rely on student scores from Keystone exams, which did not change in 2014-15.

The Ephrata administration realizes it is not only student test scores that measure success.

“We want our students to discover their passions and it is our responsibility to help them identify their strengths and be equipped to live meaningful lives,” said Troop.

Sensenig also talked about the many parts that come together to make this happen.

“The community has given us the resources we need in terms of programs, materials, and personnel to help all students have opportunities.

“The principals have assisted teachers in sorting out details. I am particularly proud of the Cocalico team and the results they have collectively accomplished. Hats off to the CHS faculty, staff, and students. They have helped the Eagles soar high over the past three to four years.”

And the leader of CHS is certainly proud as well.

“I’ve been continually impressed with our students at Cocalico,” principal Chris Irvine said. “The teachers have worked extremely hard to offer our students the best experience possible and have prepared our students to achieve at high levels. Everyone’s hard work has paid off and I’m very proud of our students and staff.”

Similar thoughts were shared by Ephrata’s principal.

“I am in my third year at Ephrata and one of the things I have been so impressed with is how well we do at growing students academically,” said Scott Galen. “Standardized tests, such as Keystone exams, are not the only measure of student and school performance, but they are the yard stick by which we are measured. We don’t want to over-emphasize standardized tests, but we certainly do want to celebrate the accomplishments of our students and staff.”

 

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