Julie Boyer

South St. Marys Street Elementary Assistant Principal Julie Boyer is shown giving a presentation during the recent St. Marys Area School District Board of Directors meeting.

South St. Marys Street Elementary Assistant Principal Julie Boyer explained the STAR educational system used at SSMSE during Monday evening’s St. Marys Area School District Board of Directors meeting.
STAR provides an array of data used to assess math and reading skills, make instructional decisions, identify students needing academic support, and analyze data to make academic improvements. 
“In our current pandemic situation, SSMSE students are performing extremely well. Both reading and math scores are at grade level or exceeding typical grade level growth,” Boyer said. “Math, especially, shows significant promise.”
Students in grades K-1 are assessed using the Early Literacy test which focuses on phonemic skills such as letters, sounds, letter identification, and more. Grades 2-5 are assessed on reading skills based on state standards while grades 1-5 are assessed on math skills also based on state standards.
Reading and math assessments are given five times throughout the year using computers. Students needing supports are progress monitored bi-weekly. Boyer said this is determined during data meetings with various school staff where they can check students into various tier support based on their scores. Reports are generated immediately showing growth and/or regression. Boyer credits Mrs. Candalor and her tutor team as they throughly organize and present student data in reports for review by administration. These reports can reflect the entire school, grade level, specific classes, and individual students. Data for each child is stored and easily accessible for multiple years. This information is a predictor for the school’s PSSA scores.
During her presentation, Boyer provided four reports including a school-wide summary, grade level progress, teacher progress reports and student reports. 
Boyer emphasized the great deal of progress being made considering the students have only been in school for five months due to the pandemic. 
In a consolidated report for reading, as of Feb. 5 second graders are reading at a 2.8 grade level, third graders at a 3.6 level, fourth graders at a 4.7 level, and fifth grade at a 5.5 level.
“That’s pretty amazing when you hear the buzz,” Boyer said. 

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