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Bangor gifted grant intended to raise student performance

By Joe McDonald, WFMZ.com Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Oct 21 2013 10:42:52 PM CDT
BANGOR, Pa. -

None of the five schools in the Bangor Area School District have been flagged as a low-performing school by state education officials, but the Bangor Area High School has been singled out for a $70,000 grant intended to raise students’ grades.

The money is coming from a program called school improvement grants, which according to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, are given to Pennsylvania's lowest performing schools to substantially raise the achievement of their students.

Schools in that ranking are listed as a “priority school” by the state but recently released test results of each of the district’s five schools, including Bangor High School, are listed under the category “no designation,” a category 80 percent of the schools in the state fall under. It is a middle zone between “high progress” schools in the top 5 percent and the “priority schools” in the lowest 5 percent.

Joseph Kondisko, the district’s director of curriculum, said he was “surprised we’re (Bangor High School) not a priority school,” given the fact it was given a school improvement grant.

Kondisko said it was not possible to compare Bangor High School, which given a 67.9 rating by the state, with other high schools because the state has not released all the data to make state comparisons.

Kondisko said five areas contribute to the score: reading, math, science, writing and advanced placement performance.

He said the key to shoring up those skills is improving literacy skills. Once that is in place, he said, “things will fall in place …”

Kondisko said the scores for the other four schools were: Five Points Elementary, 84.7; Washington Elementary, 82.7; DeFranco Elementary, 74.9; Bangor Area Middle School, 74.9.