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Individual schools' Pennsylvania System of School Assessment 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. York County's charter schools — Helen Thackston Charter School, Lincoln Charter School and York Academy Regional Charter School — varied similarly.

York Academy: York Academy Regional Charter had the highest scores among the three charters. Michael Lowe, the school's supervisor of instructional development, and David Goodwin, dean of students, said they were proud of the PSSA scores their students achieved and the growth that they have experienced.

"We are very proud of our students and their achievement," Lowe said. "We are looking for continuous progress."

In English language arts, 12.9 percent of the students in the school were considered advanced on the PSSA exam, up from 11.5 percent in 2015. In 2016, 45.7 percent of students achieved a proficient score, up from 44.7 percent in 2015.

In the school, 31.7 percent of students scored basic on the ELA exam, up again from 30.4 percent in 2015. Finally, there was a fairly significant drop in students who scored below basic, from 13.4 percent in 2015 to only 9.7 percent in 2016.

York Academy saw similar results on its math PSSA exam. In the school, 15.4 percent of students scored advanced in the subject in 2016; only 10.5 percent of students achieved that score in 2015. In 2016, 22.6 percent of students achieved a proficient score on the exam, down from 26.9 percent in 2015.

In 2016, 33.3 percent of students scored basic on the exam, up from 27.9 percent in 2015. Finally, 28.7 percent of students scored below basic on the math PSSA exam, down from 34.7 percent in 2015.

Lowe and Goodwin said they are particularly proud of the increase in scores because they work hard to incorporate the Pennsylvania Common Core standards with their International Baccalaureate program. Goodwin said everyone in the school is involved in making sure students are held to both standards but still look forward to coming to school each day.

"We create our own path and our own planning for our students based on their needs and educational objectives that we have as a school and the state for the standards," Goodwin said. "On a regular basis, we hear that they love being here and they like coming, and I expect that these scores will continue to rise and go up over time."

For the upcoming PSSA exams, Lowe and Goodwin said they are digging into the data to identify areas that need more focus. They hope to continue to raise ELA and math scores.

Lincoln: Lincoln Charter School had 2.2 percent of its students score advanced in 2016 on the ELA exam, a very slight decrease from the 2.4 percent of students who achieved that score in 2015. There were 27 percent of students in the school who scored proficient on the exam in 2016, compared to 30.7 percent of students in 2015.

In the charter school, 48 percent of students scored basic on the ELA exam in 2016, up from 38.6 percent in 2015. Finally, 22.9 percent of students at Lincoln Charter School scored below basic in ELA in 2016, a decrease from 28.3 percent in 2015.

In math, the charter school's scores increased slightly. In 2016, 4.1 percent of students scored advanced on the math exam, up from 2.1 percent of the school in 2015. There were 13.8 percent of students who scored proficient on the exam in 2016, up again from 10.3 percent in 2015.

In 2016, 29.8 percent of students scored basic on the math PSSA exam, down from 33 percent in 2015. Finally, 52.4 percent of the students scored below basic on the exam in 2016, down slightly from 54.5 the previous year.

School officials did not respond to repeated calls for comment on the PSSA scores.

Helen Thackston: Helen Thackston Charter School had the lowest scores among the three charter schools, but they only trailed behind Lincoln Charter School slightly.

On the 2016 ELA exam, 2 percent of the students in the school scored advanced, up from 1.6 percent in 2015. There were 21.6 percent of students who achieved a proficient score on the exam in 2016, compared to 24.4 percent in 2015.

In 2016, 54.3 percent of the students at Helen Thackston scored basic on the ELA exam, down slightly from 55.9 percent in 2015. Finally, 22.1 percent of students last year scored below basic on the exam, an increase from 18.1 percent in 2015.

On the math exam, 1 percent of Helen Thackston Charter School students scored advanced, down from 1.5 percent in 2015. Six percent of the school scored proficient on the math exam in 2016, compared to 6.6 percent in 2015.

In 2016, 19.9 percent of the school scored basic on the math PSSA, down from 27 percent in 2015. Finally, 73.1 percent of the students at the charter school scored below basic on the exam, up from 64.9 percent in 2015.

School officials did not respond to repeated calls for comment on the PSSA scores.

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