Petersburg City Schools Superintendent Rob Thomason explained to the Petersburg School Board last year's test scores from the district's three schools at the first school board meeting of the year Tuesday, Aug. 21.
The tests conducted last year for grades 3 – 10 in writing, reading, mathematics and science were above state averages in most categories, however some areas will need to be addressed in the future.
Each school also exceeded or met statewide Average Yearly Progress level requirements from last year.
According to the school report card for the 2011/2012 school year, 89 percent of students at Rae C. Stedman Elementary School were advanced or proficient in language arts, above the state target of 83 percent.
Stedman students scored 83 percent in mathematics with a target score of 74.5 percent.
Students at Mitkof Middle School were proficient or advanced in language arts by 85 percent, with a goal score of 83 percent and scored 80 percent in math.
Petersburg High School students score 87 percent in language arts and 74 percent in math.
“All three schools made AYP,” Thomason said. “But just by a narrow margin in the high school.”
The area in which the district struggles is the economically disadvantaged students.
“Of the 39 students tested,” Thomason said. “Only 57 percent passed, which takes us out of AYP.”
According to Thomason, many of the economically disadvantaged are Title One students, but Petersburg High School is not a Title One campus.
“We dedicate these federal funds primarily to the elementary and middle school,” Thomason said. “We do this so we can catch them early and get the most bang for our buck.”
The one other area that PHS fell short of the AYP mark was the graduation rate.
According to the Department of Education 77.4 percent of PHS students graduated with a goal of 85 percent.
“I called the Department of Education to find out how this area was figured,” Thomason said. “By our figures and the students that we know did or did not graduate our percentage should be 91.7.”
The DOE provided Thomason with the names of the students they have on record that did not graduate.
“Of the seven students, five were here for one year or less,” Thomason explained. “One was a Coast Guard student that never requested records and two others were foreign exchange students on different levels.”
Thomason explained that PHS will be appealing this case with the DOE.
“I know, of the students we are responsible for, our graduation rate is 91.7 percent,” Thomason said. “That is the number we are more accustomed to.”