Individual school's 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. Southern York County School District saw mixed results in English language arts and math scores. Averages for the district were found using each school within the district's scores.

Superintendent Sandra Lemmon said that she was pleased that the scores reflected the hard work done by the teachers and students.

"I also know it's just one measurement of outside successes and initiatives that happen in the classroom on a regular basis," she added.

In ELA, slightly fewer students scored as advanced on the 2016 exams compared with 2015. There were 25.8 percent of students who achieved that score in 2016 compared with 26.4 percent in 2015. In 2016, 49.9 percent of students in the district achieved a proficient score compared with 49.6 percent in 2015.

In 2016, 20.2 percent of students were considered basic in ELA, while in 2015 that number was 19.2 percent. Finally, 4.2 percent of students in the district were considered below basic in ELA, down slightly from 4.9 percent in 2015. Overall, there were no major changes in ELA scores from 2015 to 2016.

For math, the district saw an increase in students who were considered advanced, from 19.5 percent in 2015 to 22.4 percent in 2016. In the district, 31.9 percent of students were considered proficient in the subject in 2016, down from 35.3 percent the year before.

There were 28.6 percent of students who achieved a basic score on the math exam in 2016, compared with 29.6 percent in 2015. Finally, more students scored as below basic this year compared to the previous year. In 2016, 17.1 percent of students in the district achieved that score, up from 15.5 percent.

Schools within the district varied on how they did on the two exams. Shrewsbury Elementary and Southern Elementary each had the highest percentage of students score advanced on the ELA exam at 27.2 percent. Southern Elementary also had the most students score as advanced on the math exam at 28.9 percent.

For the upcoming PSSA exams, Lemmon said that the district plans to continue what it has been doing to try to adjust to the new core standards that have made the exams more difficult for students. She said the district will continue to hold teacher professional development days and have challenging and rigorous class exercises to help students plan for the rigor in the PSSA exams.

"We just continue each day to really analyze what our students need in our classrooms, and we ensure the instruction that teachers are providing meets their needs," she said.

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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