New Castle News

October 29, 2013

Teachers, aides recognized for test scores

By Staff
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Three more West Side School teachers have been distinguished for helping their students to excel in state assessment tests.

Teachers Jennifer Antal, Dana Prejsnar and Trina Sibeto were among five from the school who received the district’s Pride and Promise awards for October.

Others recognized were West Side’s personal care assistants Linda Hartman and Beverly Ferrara.

Four of the school’s third-grade homeroom teachers were honored last month because of the school’s reading test scores in the Pennsylvania System of School Asssessment program.

Principal Dr. Carmen Nocera, who singled out the teachers, said the third-grade scored 92 percent in math and 85 percent in reading on their Pennsylvania System of School Assessment tests this year, far above the state average.

He explained that the school checks previous scores and identifies those students who are not proficient, and they get tutored and receive extra help.

“We target the kids who have a legitimate shot of passing the test,” he explained. “We also tutor children who are below to make sure they gained a year’s growth in a year’s time.”

“The outcome is that we’ve done well every year, over the past eight years with our test scores,” Nocera said, and the 2013 scores happened to be a tad higher.

“Every year our test scores are one of the highest in the (school district) and very comparable with the highest in the county,” he added.

Superintendent John Sarandrea added that West Side’s third-graders scored second highest in Lawrence County.

Nocera explained that the personal care assistants work one on one with special needs students, along with the special needs teachers.

“Our teachers are wondeful in our whole school,” he said, pointing out that only grade three takes the assessment tests, but the first- and second-grade teachers have done a great job in setting the groundwork for third graders.

“They have a great base because of the kindergarten, first and second grade teachers, and being in a smaller school, there are a number of reasons why we do well each year,” Nocera said.

“We do a tremendous job in preparing our kids for the third-grade test,” Nocera said.

Pride and Promise awards are given monthly at school board meetings to any teacher, administrator, student or parent to recognize people who have done work beyond the call of duty or who have done something special.

The recipients receive T-shirts, coffee mugs or a small token of recognition publicly at board meetings.