Pelham City Schools scores higher than state average

Published 1:03 pm Wednesday, July 26, 2023

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By BARTON PERKINS | Staff Writer

PELHAM – At a regularly scheduled Pelham City School Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, July 25, it was revealed that, on average, Pelham City Schools’ students score higher than the state median of most subject tests. 

On average, the Alabama state proficiency test puts 54 percent of second graders as having grade proficiency in literacy. By contrast, 61 percent of second graders in Pelham City Schools score at grade-level proficiency. This trend continues in every grade up to eighth, with students in PCS being more proficient in literacy than the state median of literacy test scores conducted at the end of the year.

“I’d just like to say that I’m really impressed with the academic achievements; we’ve made some real progress so far,”  said Robert Plummers, School Board Vice-President. “When you get down to it, I want to  attract families to Pelham because we have great schools.”

This trend of scoring higher than state counterparts continues in other subjects such as math, science and social studies. Chief Academic Officer Shannon Berger attributes this to recent efforts in the school system to provide additional support to students needing help in subject areas and allow more enrichment opportunities for students performing higher than grade level.

The AP exam scores of Pelham High School students also exceeded the state average this past year in most subjects. Notably, Pelham’s AP scores in the English Language and composition AP were at 91 percent. AP scores in students taking US History scored slightly over 30 percent.

Berger noted that while the school system continues to improve, she is confident in steps in the coming years to help Pelham students climb to even greater academic heights while also filling out areas needing improvement. Berger also stressed to attendees to keep in mind that all state tests and AP exams only offer us a single snapshot of a student’s academic career, and they should not be judged solely on their scores.

Other topics covered at the school board meeting included:

-Fresh Produce’s bid to supply food.

-Certain policy changes, tweaking wording around the use of programs like Chat GTP.

-Disposal of school technology.

-Salary supplements for teachers who coach extracurriculars.

-The purchase of new school buses.

-An anti-bullying grant.