Individual schools' Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) exam scores were released Sept. 29, and for the second year in a row schools were subjected to the more rigorous Common Core standards that were enacted during the May 2015 tests.

Schools across the county varied on whether their students' scores improved or declined. Northeastern York School District had more students score advanced on the English language arts (ELA) exam and the math exam. However, the district also had more students score below basic in ELA in 2016 than in 2015, and a similar number of students scored below basic in math between the two years. Averages for the district were found using the scores for each school within the district.

Acting Superintendent Stacey Sidle said in an email that, overall, the district is pleased with this year's PSSA scores.

"Our principals, teachers and support staff work very hard planning and collaborating in order to best prepare our students for the assessments," she said. "We will continue to dive into the data and celebrate our areas of strength while doing our best to pinpoint specific areas of need."

In 2016, 18.8 percent of students scored advanced on the ELA exam in the district, up from 16.8 percent the year before. A total of 50.3 percent of students scored proficient on the exam in 2016, while 50.6 percent of students achieved the same score in 2015.

Fewer students scored basic on the ELA exam in 2016 at 22.8 percent compared with 26.2 percent in 2015. However, students who scored below basic on the ELA exam jumped in 2016 to 8 percent from 6.4 percent in 2015.

On the math PSSA exam, 33.2 percent of students who scored advanced in 2016, a large jump from 23.1 percent in 2015. In 2016, 29.5 percent of students scored proficient on the exam, down from 33.5 percent of students in 2015.

In 2016, 22.3 percent of students in the district scored basic on the math exam. In 2015, 27.7 percent of students achieved that same score. Finally, students who scored below basic decreased slightly in 2016, down from 15.7 percent in 2015 to 15 percent on the most recent exams.

Within the district, York Haven Elementary School had the highest number of students score advanced on the math exam, with 46.7 percent achieving that score, up from 33.3 percent in 2015. They were closely followed by Orendorf Elementary School, where 46.2 percent of students scored advanced on the exam, a huge jump from the 25 percent achieving that score in 2015.

Spring Forge Intermediate School had the highest number of students score advanced on the ELA exam, at 28.4 percent. This percentage was up slightly from the 27 percent of students that achieved that score in 2015.

Sidle said performance on state tests such as the PSSA exams and the Keystone exams, which are taken at the high school level, is just "one piece of the puzzle — there are many other important factors in educating the whole child."

Information for each of the schools at each grade level and for each subject can be found on the Pennsylvania Department of Education's website. Information on scores from previous school years can be found there as well.

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