Principals from ten of Spring-Ford's twelve schools were on hand at Monday's board meeting to accept Keystone Award plaques from superintendent Dr. David Goodin.
The Keystone Award is a state-level award given to schools who make Adequate Yearly Progress, or AYP, two school years in a row. The schools recognized by the board made AYP for the 2010-11 and the 2011-12 school years.
The schools were Brooke, Evans, Limerick, Oaks, Royersford and Upper Providence Elementary Schools; the 5th and 6th Grade Center; the 7th Grade Center; the 8th Grade Center, which also celebrated a National Blue Ribbon Award this year; and the 9th Grade Center.
Board Appreciation Month
January is School Board Appreciation Month, and Goodin spoke on behalf of the district, thanking the board for everything they do to support the district's efforts.
Goodin read a long list of items that the board has either directly or indirectly made possible just in the last year - things such as the Virtual Academy, the Limerick-to-Limerick student exchange, setting up social media accounts for better communication, and the addition of classes such as Mandarin Chinese, AP European History and AP Government and Politics.
Board president Thomas DiBello said, "It's a lot of hard work, but at the end of the day Spring-Ford is starting to get recognized."
Goodin thanked the board for their service on behalf of everyone in the district.
Goodin also reported on the district's SAT scores for 2012.
Spring-Ford's test scores averaged 1542 out of a possible 2400 on the SAT, which includes sections on writing, reading and math.
The Inquirer recently reported on SAT scores in the five-county area. Goodin said that Spring-Ford came in 77th of the 652 schools the Inquirer ranked.
The number one school is the Julia R. Masterman Laboratory and Demonstration High School in Philadelphia, which is a magnet school for high academic achievers. Their average SAT score was 1952.
The state's high average score was 1925 and the low average was 973.
In the four-county area of Bucks, Montgomery, Chester and Delaware Counties, Spring-Ford ranks 39th of 87 schools. The average scores range from 1052 to 1769 in the four counties.
Board vice-president Joseph Ciresi asked, "What is the administration's plan to move Spring-Ford up?"
Goodin said he and Dr. Keith Floyd are planning some test-prep seminars, including not only preparation for the test itself but to teach some test taking skills, time management, and coping strategies for test anxiety.
Ciresi and other board members also suggested the administration look at how the top districts are helping their students prepare.
Ciresi suggested a symposium with other districts to share ideas.
DiBello echoed that and told Goodin to let the board know if there was anything from an administrative standpoint that the board could do to help.
"We should do that before the budget is done, in case anything needs to go in the budget," DiBello said.
Ciresi said he feels Spring-Ford students "could be in that 1900-2000 range and getting into top-tier schools like Harvard, Yale, Columbia."
During voting on personnel items, the board took a minute to recognize Florence "Flossie" Chomyn for her years of service to the district. Mrs. Chomyn is retiring on March 1, 2013.
The next board meeting will be on February 19, 2013. It will be delayed by a day due to a Monday holiday.