The academic performance report from the 2018-19 school year shows that Grove City students are “knocking it out of the park.”

Standardized test scores are improving compared to previous years, and students exceeded the state average in some categories, said Dr. Joshua Weaver, assistant superintendent of Grove City Area School District.

He recently presented the results during the school board’s monthly meeting, reviewing these state tests: Pennsylvania System of School Assessment, Keystone Exams, and Pennsylvania Value Added Assessment System.

The PSSA exams focus on English language arts, math and science for students in grades three through eight.

Grove City students tested above the state average in each grade level and category, Weaver said.

Math scores have improved in recent years thanks to a revamping of the district’s math program in certain grades.

“It’s really paid off,” he said.

At one point, eighth-grade math results were 14 percent below the state average. The latest results put Grove City eighth-graders 10 percent above the state average.

PSSA tests fourth and eighth grade students in science. Eighth-graders and fourth-graders tested 15 percent higher than the state average.

The results for the Keystone Exams are “impressive,” Weaver said.

Most of the students taking the Keystone Exams are in eighth grade or higher, and it looks at biology, literature and algebra.

The Grove City scores have been improving, and the latest results show higher numbers compared to the state average in each subject area.

PVAAS follows the projected growth for students in grades three through eight; the test is first taken in third grade, and again in fourth grade, he said.

It uses a formula to determine whether students met the academic level that was expected, and the results are color-coded with dark blue indicating students have exceeded expectations, and red showing that the school did not meet the state standards for academic growth.

There are few “red” spots, but overall the numbers for math and English language arts have improved.

The three-year average growth measure is dark blue in each subject area, which Weaver said is good.

Standardized testing is a measure of how schools are performing, and he acknowledges that it can be hard work for some students.

School officials don’t expect teachers to rely solely on these results, though they are helpful when looking at things like the Future Ready PA Index, which analyzes school progress related to student success.

“Testing is not the ‘be all end all,’” he said.

While tests tests cover math, science and language, Weaver said it’s worth noting that the district also has strong music and arts programs.

“We value students growing and developing as young people in this community,” he said.

For more information about the test results, visit www.grovecity.k12.pa.us and look for “GCASD Academic Performance” under “Announcements” on the homepage.

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