COLLEGEVILLE – Perkiomen Valley School District has been ranked 17 out of 553 school districts and charter schools across the state by SchoolDigger.com, a website that serves as a search-and-comparison tool for parents making educational decisions. That ranking places Perkiomen Valley School District in the top 3 percent of public state K-12 institutions.
The site also ranks schools by averaging test score data from the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA). All of Perkiomen Valley’s schools ranked highly, especially Evergreen Elementary School, which was ranked 16th in the state out of 1,606 other elementary schools. Evergreen was also ranked 4th in the state for reading achievement.
“We were delighted to find out that our school district is ranked so highly by a website that parents may use to determine which schools are best for their children,” said Superintendent Dr. Clifford Rogers. “While we do not believe that test scores should be the sole determining factor used to evaluate a district’s ability to educate its students, they do provide us with an indication of how effective our instructional practices are. What these results tell us is that our faculty and staff are doing a tremendous job teaching our students, even as the bar continues to be set higher and higher for student proficiency in math and reading.”
In the 2011-12 school year, schools had to demonstrate that 78 percent of their students were proficient or advanced in math and 81 percent of students were proficient or advanced in reading on the PSSA in order to achieve Adequate Yearly Progress. These requirements were higher than the previous school year, when the targets were 67 percent for math, and 72 percent for reading. The Pennsylvania Department of Education released PSSA/AYP data on Sept. 22, and all seven of Perkiomen Valley School District’s schools met the requirements for AYP.
Also recently released by PDE were the results of the Pennsylvania Value-Added Assessment System (PVAAS). PVAAS data, according to the state, offers a more objective and precise way to measure growth because it compares test score data from year-to-year by a particular group, or cohort, of students. Perkiomen Valley student performance as evaluated through PVAAS is also high when compared to other districts statewide – for example, the district is second in the state in terms of “average growth index” in reading, which means that, on average, Perkiomen Valley students exceeded the standard for Pennsylvania Academic Growth. For more information, visit here and click on the “Visit Public Site” button on the right.
The fact that Perkiomen Valley School District is making such significant progress is all-the-more notable given that its cost-per-student is among the most efficient in Montgomery County. The district’s cost-per-student is $14,446.
“We have always felt that Perkiomen Valley School District students receive an excellent education at a very reasonable price, and our recent test scores and rankings further back this up,” said Dr. Rogers. “But we certainly have more work to do. As we continue to evaluate state data, we know that there are areas where we will have to strengthen our instructional programs to ensure that all students are able to demonstrate proficiency, and we will have to figure out how to do that in a financial climate that is still very challenging. Given the success we have had so far, I have no doubt that we will continue to find creative and innovative solutions to helping students succeed.”