Report Card Shows Positive Trends at Watchung Hills

New school report card out, but officials already looking at new scores.

The New Jersey Department of Education released the 2010-2011 school report card for Watchung Hills Regional last week, but Superintendent of Schools Frances Stromsland is already reviewing results from the school's 2011-2012 testing.

She stillsaid she feels there's plenty of good news for parents, students and taxpayers in the new report card.

"The really good news in this year's report is we moved to third place in the county on the SAT scores," Dr. Stromsland said.

Ahead of WHRHS' combined 1690 average score (with 100 percent of the students testing) are Ridge (1750, with 85 percent testing) and Montgomery (1784, with 92 percent testing). Dr. Stromsland said Watchung Hills has moved up from fifth place several years ago.

She also noted the stduent suspensions have been lower in recent years, and the faculty attendance rate and educational levels are high. 

"Our teachers are very much present in the school's classrooms," she said. 

Dr. Stromsland noted the classroom expenditures per pupil continue to increase—the report notes a $20 increase in classroom costs per pupil between the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 reports, but added much of the increase is due to the school's enrollment changes. 

"We're still in a growth mode," she said. Total enrollment dropped slightly in 2010-2011, but is up this year, continuing the recent years' trend.

The report card's details on the student scores on the High School Proficiency Assessment shows a drop in students attaining the proficiency and advanced proficiency scores in math, from 89.4 percent in the 2009-2010 school year to 86.3 percent, while the language arts scores rose from 97.5 percent to 97.8 percent.

But Dr. Stromsland noted at the May 21 meeting the scores on the HSPA for the 2011-2012 school year show substantial improvement in both fields: the math scores rose to 89.5 percent proficient and advanced proficient in math and a 99.8 percent score on language arts.



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