SMASD principals give reports on second quarter

Thursday's workshop meeting of the St. Marys Area School District's Board of Directors included presentations from school principals on quarter two of the 2011-2012 school year and preparations being made for the upcoming quarter and Pennsylvania System of School Assessment tests in March. St. Marys Area High School principal Josh Williams said significant progress in terms of discipline has been made in comparing second quarters of the previous three years, adding that there is still some work to be done on the academic front. "As far as our failures and D grades go there's been some progress there [but] not quite what we want. That's kind of been a point of discussion and we're talking about some different things, how we want to further address that, at least show some improvement there," Williams said. In looking toward the third quarter, Williams said he plans to utilize the Classroom Diagnostic Tools (CDT), an online assessment system offered by the state in preparing the eleventh grade for the PSSAs in March and in striving to meet common core standards. "That will give us a good idea of where we're at curriculum-wise and how we're matching up with what is going to be asked as we head towards test time. In lieu of the constant testing every quarter, we've used that to see where our eleventh graders are in conjunction with the data," Williams said. Jim Wortman, principal of St. Marys Area Middle School (SMAMS), said from the first to second quarter of this school year, 76 sixth grade students or 40 percent improved their grade point average.