College Park-area elementary schools make the grade on MSA
Twelve of 13 beat county averages, middle schools struggle
College Park-area elementary schools performed well above Prince George's County averages on this year's federally mandated Maryland School Assessment, while area middle schools continued to struggle with the annual test.
Twelve of 13 elementary schools in College Park, Beltsville, University Park, Adelphi, Greenbelt and Berwyn Heights met Adequate Yearly Progress goals on the test demonstrating year-to-year improvement but none of the area's three middle schools met the requirement.
Springhill Lake Elementary School in Greenbelt missed AYP for the second straight year, while Buck Lodge Middle School in Adelphi, Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in Beltsville and Greenbelt Middle also failed to make AYP. All 25 Prince George's County middle schools failed to meet AYP.
"Basically, it's the same scenario every year. We go in the right direction, we've improving every year, but not enough to make AYP," said Buck Lodge assistant principal Patricia Garrett. "We are making strategic improvements to help our [English for Speakers of Other Languages] and special ed students."
Twelve of 13 local elementary schools exceeded county math and reading averages, with University Park Elementary leading area schools in reading, as 94.1 percent of students tested proficient or better compared to the county average of 75.6. Beltsville K-8 Academy led the schools in math performance, with 88.6 percent of students doing the same compared to 66.5 for the county.
"We're pleased with the way our scores turned out. We'll still working hard and hoping to do better," said Beltsville assistant principal Ronald Creek, who credited students and staff for working hard to prepare for the test. "The planning that we put in that the teachers put in it worked."
University Park, Beltsville, Adelphi, Calverton, Greenbelt, Berwyn Heights and Vansville elementary schools, as well as Cherokee Lane and Mary Harris "Mother" Jones elementary schools in Adelphi and Hollywood and Paint Branch elementary schools in College Park, all had greater than 84 percent of their students test proficient or better in reading.
The schools also eclipsed the 80 percent mark in math, as did Cool Spring Elementary in Adelphi.
King Middle actually exceeded county averages with 80.6 and 69.8 percent of students testing proficient or better in reading and math, but missed AYP because students in two demographics special education students and free and reduced meal recipients did not show adequate progress in reading. Special education students also missed the mark in math.
"The teachers and the staff at MLK work very hard and every year, the county reduces their budget," said King Middle PTA president Kristen Ruiz. "It makes it harder when you have less resources to work with."
At Buck Lodge, 68.7 and 58.6 percent of students were proficient or better in reading and math, and Greenbelt Middle had 71.5 and 50.8 percent of students test proficient or better in reading or math. Neither school has ever made AYP since testing began in 2003.
Springhill Lake Elementary and King Middle will each enter school improvement this year, as they missed AYP for a second straight year. School improvement requires administrators to develop a plan to improve student performance, and schools must make AYP two years in a row to exit the program. Buck Lodge and Greenbelt Middle are already in school improvement.