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Penn Yan reviews test assessments

    PENN YAN—The Penn Yan school district principals presented various state test results from the 2010-11 school year at the Wednesday, Oct. 5, school board meeting.
    For elementary to middle school, the principals talked about data from the math and English Language Arts (ELA) tests.
    “Our performance index is not going in the direction we want it to go,” said middle school Principal Rebecca Perrault.
    According to the New York State Education Department’s most recent 2010-11 school performance assessment, Penn Yan eighth graders met or exceeded the state’s proficiency standards in ELA with 47.6 percent of the students passing. The Penn Yan number went to 57.4 percent meeting proficiency for math. In seventh grade, the Penn Yan numbers were 45.1 percent meeting or exceeding proficiency standards for ELA and 52.5 percent for math. However, the sixth grade test results were better: 75.1 percent of Penn Yan students met or exceeded the math proficiency standards, while 70.5 percent did the same for ELA. Perrault said the school is implementing different teaching strategies to improve results.
    In the elementary, third grade had the lowest percentage at least meeting or exceeding the state proficiency standards. According to the education department, 47.8 percent of Penn Yan third grade students met or exceeded the proficiency standards for ELA, and 46.7 percent of the math students met or exceeded the proficiency standards.
    Top results in the high school were in US History and Government. Ninety-nine percent of students passed the test. The school was ranked first in the area in this subject. Chemistry did not fare as well. It was ranked 22nd in the area. Sixty eight students passed the chemistry test. High School Principal David Pullen outlined a variety of reasons students at the high school level are not doing well in some courses.
    In other business: Superintendent of Schools David Hamilton provided details of the DRIVE program for students between age 18 and 21. The name stands for diversity, responsibility, inclusion, vision and experiential learning. The program is funded by the Penn Yan Central School District and administered by Yates County ARC. Keuka College students serve as peer mentors for the students. There are close to 300 DRIVE programs nationwide. The local program is one of five selected to participate at a national conference in Westchester, N.Y., this month. Hamilton recently visited the DRIVE program at Keuka College, calling the day, “Amazing.”
    • The initial meeting of the K-12 Reconfiguration committee met on Sept. 12. The committee will work to provide concrete ideas and suggestions to the board of education. The district continues to make long-term plans for school facilities use.
    • Representatives of King & King Architects presented the Building Condition Survey Review. The review is mandated by New York State every five years. Nothing connected with health and safety was found. The intent of the survey is use as a planning tool for future projects.
    • The audit report from Bonadfio & Co, LLP was presented during the meeting. There were no issues of note and no difficulties.
    • The comprehensive School Safety Program was approved.
    • Several donations were approved. Board vice president Ryan Hallings noted three were for the Penn Yan Chapter FFA. The National FFA Foundation donated $5,000. The FFA Benefit Auction “The Big Cook, sponsored by John and Stacey Grabski resulted in a $2,000 donation. A donation of $2,500 from the Once Again Shoppe is to be used at the discretion of the elementary school for boots, socks, underwear, Pre-K and Kindergarten and lice kits as well as other needed materials.
    • Canandaigua Wal-Mart donated $1,000 in Wal Mart gift cards as part of Wal Mart’s Teacher Rewards Program. The cards will be used by PYE teachers for classroom supplies and nutritious snacks.
    • Faculty member Jerry Rutherford told the board 40 students have signed up for the Leo Club. The organization, which has been chartered locally for 10 years, is associated with Penn Yan Lions Club. Rutherford said the group is mainly composed of seventh and eighth graders. The Leo Club members have volunteered at the Lions Club wrestling tournament, sponsored a dance and car wash and planted and cleaned up the garden at the middle school. Members raised $650 which was sent to Japan to assist in earthquake recovery.
    • Faculty member Steve Bloom spoke about the Helping Us Build Better Assets (HUBBA) program. The group also has 40 interested students. The group has adopted a portion of the Outlet Trail. Building picnic tables, benches and local history markets are some of their projects. Bloom said the difficult part of maintaining the program is finding time for it.
    The next meeting of the Penn Yan Central School District board of education will be 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19 in the elementary school cafeteria.




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