PHS_LogoThe Plymouth School Board heard an accountability report concerning Plymouth High School during their meeting on December 5. Presenting the report that covered ISTEP test results, graduation rate and College and Career Readiness was assistant principal Kyle Coffman.

Coffman said the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) uses all data from the areas to determine the school’s letter grade. Currently, PHS is listed as a “B” school.

Of the 243 students taking the ISTEP 10 math test, 53 or 21.8 percent passed. The state average was 36.8 percent.

In calculating the letter grade, the state gives 10 percent weight to ISTEP scores in math and English; 10 percent to growth in math and English; 30 percent to the graduation rate; and 30 percent to College and Career Readiness.

Coffman and Superintendent Andy Hartley explained that some students are retaking the portion of the math test that were voided by the state. According to Hartley, when the PHS staff realized that some students used a calculator on a portion where the directions indicted non calculator usage, they immediately notified the state. Coffman said the PHS administration interviewed each student in an effort to verify which ones had used a calculator; however, the state held that every one of the students had to retake that portion.

After the meeting, Hartley said some 60 students are retaking the test portion at this time since the retake window of time is in effect. It is unclear whether the test monitor told students they could use a calculator or students used without asking. The written directions clearly state no calculator use on that portion of the test.

According to Coffman, 90 percent of the test uses algebra skills. Passing the test is a requirement for graduation.

Of the 302 students taking the ISTEP 10 English test, 180 or 59.6 percent passed. The state average was 59.6 percent.

Coffman said they are focusing on reading comprehension and utilizing early intervention systems in an effort to raise the scores.

The 2017 graduation rate was 88.5 percent up from 86 percent in 2016. In the 2017 graduating class, 206 students earned dual credits.

Carol Anders Correspondent