Avon Grove scores well in school rankings
By Steven Hoffman
While district officials are enlisting the help of a wide variety of stakeholders in the Avon Grove community to develop and implement a comprehensive strategic plan that will transition Avon Grove from a good school district to a great one, there were several recent reminders that the district's students are scoring high marks for academic achievement.
Superintendent Dr. Christopher Marchese informed the school board at the Sept. 25 meeting that Avon Grove was once again ranked among the top 50 school districts in the state by The Pittsburgh Business Times.
Using the last three years of results from the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) standardized testing, the district ranked 47th in the state in 2014 after ranking 42nd last year.
This comes after the Daily Beast, an online national publication, ranked Avon Grove High School at 466 on its annual listing of America's Best High Schools.
Avon Grove High School was also ranked 172 out of more than 14,000 schools evaluated in Newsweek Magazine's listing of Top American High Schools for 2014.
District officials have been hard at work on developing a strategic plan that will boost Avon Grove's academic performance even more.
Dr. Margaret Sharp, the assistant superintendent, made a presentation about the visioning co-labs that took place in August and September as part of the process of developing a comprehensive strategic plan for the district.
The visioning co-labs included 35 people representing 50 stakeholder groups in the district, including administrators, teachers, parents, taxpayers, and students. They met four times to discuss some of the district's goals and how to achieve them.
Sharp said that now that the visioning co-labs have been completed, action teams are being formed to work on implementing some of the ideas.
While some of the ideas generated in the visioning co-labs will require board approval—as well as funding—to move forward with them, other ideas are ones that the action teams can already start to implement.
“There are some things that we can start working on immediately,” Sharp said.
Sharp said that a draft of the plan will be presented to the board at the Oct. 9 meeting. The plan will also be posted on the district’s website so that stakeholders can share comments about it. There will be a 30-day review period, and then a final plan will be presented to the board for approval on Nov. 13.
Once the board approves the plan, it will be submitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The plan is expected to be approved at the state level in time for it to be in effect for the 2015-2016 school year.
In other business at the meeting, the board approved the hiring of Kelly Cooper as the assistant principal at the Avon Grove Intermediate School. Her appointment comes after the resignation of Nikki Borradaile.To contact Staff Writer Steven Hoffman, email firstname.lastname@example.org