GCSD grad rate hovers near its recent best

GERMANTOWN—How students in the Germantown Central School District were doing in school was the main topic of the September 9 Board of Education meeting.

Of those students who started high school together in 2011–what’s called the 2011 cohort—86% graduated this year. That’s the same percentage as last year. But it is well above the 75% graduation rate of the 2009 cohort (2013 graduates) and slightly under the 90% graduation rate of the 2004 cohort (2008 graduates).

Nichole McCollum, Questar III Data Coordinator/Analyst and chief information officer for the district, gave a presentation on assessments from testing on the Common Core Curriculum. Across New York State, 80% of the students took the tests she said, with 20 % not testing without a valid reason, such as a medical reason.

In Germantown only 39% of students took the English Language Arts test last semester, and 32% sat for the 2015 test in math. This high rate of refusal skews the test data.

As a result, said Superintendent Susan Brown, the district will use STAR Benchmark Assessment System to get data on all students from first through 12th grade. Those tests are administered in the classroom, and teachers discuss the results within days.

Fall STAR assessments are the week of September 21, and teachers talk about the data October 2.

District officials said Ms. McCollum’s PowerPoint presentation would be available on the district website, germantowncsd.org. Click on About Us and on ELA and Math State Test Results.

In other business:

  • Head custodian Jim Palmieri reported on the work he and his staff had done on the building over the summer, in addition to cleaning: Installed a new roof, including new insulation, over the science hallway; replaced 1923 plaster ceilings in four high school classrooms; did asbestos abatement in the basement, so it can be used for storage; and renovated a bathroom and installed a bathroom for pre-kindergarten students, so they don’t have to leave their classrooms. “This building gets very hot in summer,” said Mr. Palmieri, and praised his staff for their hard work
  • The board discussed whether school nurses were trained to use Narcan, the heroin antidote, or whether 911 responders would get to the school quickly enough to administer it, if necessary. Board member Jeremy Smith was impatient when board president Tammi Kellenbenz said, “We’ll look into it,” but the consensus of the board was to investigate the cost of and training for Narcan
  • The board now meets twice a month unless otherwise announced. The regular meeting is the second Wednesday, and a special meeting, to oversee the capital project, is the fourth Wednesday, beginning September 23. Both meetings start at 6:30 p.m.

 

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