The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

April 16, 2013

Report: Windber tops area in PSSA scores

Kelly Urban
kurban@tribdem.com

JOHNSTOWN — The Windber Area School District has much to celebrate.

A recent report released by the Pittsburgh Business Times ranked the district as the best school district in the Cambria/Somerset region based on a three-year review of the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) results.

This is the second consecutive year the district has received the highest overall ranking among the region’s 23 school districts.

It also is the second year in a row that Windber has been ranked in the top 12 percent of school districts statewide, making it the only district in the two counties to achieve that honor.

According to the report, the district ranked 58 out of the

500 statewide school districts based on three years of PSSA test scores in math, reading, writing and science. This is an improvement over 2012 when Windber earned the 67th spot. In 2011, the district ranked 83rd out of the 500 districts.

“To be recognized as the best school district in the region for the second year in a row and ranked in the top 12 percent of the state. That’s an incredible honor that reflects the commitment that our students, parents and administrators bring to the classroom every day,” said Superintendent Rick Huffman.

He noted that the collaborative relationship between administrators, teachers and board members has resulted in improvements inside and outside the classroom that are benefiting students.

Some of those efforts include investments in technology and engineering programs, specifically at the middle and high school level.

These include an elementary reading program that allows pupils to work in small groups and use a variety of reading strategies to improve reading and comprehension skills, and a district-wide math curriculum that emphasizes critical thinking and problem solving strategies.

Windber students have participated in a wide range of regional and statewide competitions, such as technology, robotics, forensics and arts.

“Our test scores are an important piece of Windber’s story,” Huffman said.

“More and more of our students are excelling in the classroom, but they are making a difference outside of the classroom and applying what they learn at school to earn top honors at a wide range of extracurricular competitions.”

To view the complete list of statewide rankings, visit www.

bizjournals.com/pittsburgh and click School Guide.

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