Ocean City Today
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Board of Education briefs

By Kara Hallissey | Oct 05, 2017

(Oct. 6, 2017) The Board of Education discussed the following items during its monthly meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 19.

Pep rally

Employees of Worcester County Public Schools gathered inside the Performing Arts Center for a pep rally on Aug. 29 to celebrate the start of school.

Superintendent Lou Taylor said the event was a highlight of his career as he praised sponsors, including Krispy Kreme of Salisbury, for donating hundreds of doughnuts, and Todd Burbage of Blue Water Development in West Ocean City, who generously contributed the $5,000 for keynote speaker Baruti Kafele.

PARCC testing results

For the third consecutive year, Worcester County public school students led the state in college and career readiness in a number of grade levels, as well as exceeding state averages on their Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test results, school officials said.

According to a school board presentation, more than 58 percent of all students in third through eighth grade received a combined score of four or five in the subject of English, which are the two highest levels on the PARCC five-point scale and determine how well a student is progressing toward being ready for college or a career.

These scores were more than 17 percentage points above the state’s average.

Nearly 60 percent of third graders, 59 percent of fourth grade students and more than 60 percent of fifth grade students received a level of four or five in English. In these assessments, students scored higher than their counterparts in every other county in the state.

In English, 55.8 percent of eighth graders received a score of four or five. The state average was 38.9 percent.

Seventh graders also outperformed other counties in Maryland by wide margins, with 61.8 percent of students scoring in the levels of four or five, which is almost 19 percentage points above the state average.

In the subject of math, 48.6 percent of students in grades three through eight demonstrated they were going in the right direction, which is more than 15 percentage points above the state average.

Worcester County high school students were more than 13 percentage points above the state average and 49.8 percent of students scored at a level of four or five in Algebra I.

In addition, 66 percent of third graders received a four or five in mathematics, which was 0.4 points away from topping all other county scores in the state.

Also leading the state were eighth graders, with 45.7 percent of students demonstrating they were college and career-ready in mathematics, which was a nearly 7 percent jump from last year and well above the state average of 16.8 percent.

Bus contractor

Because of a resignation, members of the school board approved a new bus contractor.

Capital improvement plan

Each year, the Worcester County Board of Education is required to submit a six-year plan to the State of Maryland Interagency Committee on School Construction.

The capital improvement program for fiscal year 2019 includes a partial funding request for the construction of Showell Elementary replacement school, an addition at Stephen Decatur Middle School, and roof replacement projects at Pocomoke and Snow Hill Middle Schools.

Board members approved the capital improvement program.

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