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Title I Summer Program Students Make Significant Academic Progress

PHOTO GALLERY: On the last day of the summer program, students make a craft and have their faces painted courtesy of the Generations House of Worship.


The Highlands Title I Summer Program was held June 17 through July 12 from 9am-12noon at Highlands Elementary School. Sixty students in grades K through 4 participated in the program, focusing on Reading and Math skills and daily STEM activities. They also enjoyed field trips to the Tarentum Library and the Farmers Market.


A special thank you to the Title I Summer School Teachers: Lauralee Milberger, Kevin Mason, Tara Calabrese, Becky Mentecky, Mary Ann Trettel, James McGowan and Michele Laser, who helped these students make significant gains, in just 4 weeks, in both reading and math skills as noted below.


♦ On the Star 360 Math assessment, the average scale score increased by 85 points. The average Normal Curve Equivalent (NCE) score went from 25.8 to 43.2 and the average Grade Equivalent went from 1.4 (1st grade, 4th month) to 2.1 (2nd grade, 1st month) - a growth of 7 months!


♦ On the Star 360 Reading assessment, (which was given to 2nd, 3rd and 4th graders), the average scale score increased by 22 points.  The average Normal Curve Equivalent (NCE) score went from 23.7 to 27.4 and the average Grade Equivalent went from 2.3 (2nd grade, 3rd month) to 2.5 (2nd grade, 5th month) - a growth of 2 months!


♦ On the Star 360 Early Literacy assessment (which was given to Kindergarten students and 1st graders) we started the program with 5 students classified as Early Emergent Readers, 22 students classified as Late Emergent Readers, 2 students classified as Transitional Readers and 2 students classified as Probable Readers. By the end of the program, we had 1 Early Emergent, 8 Late Emergent, 11 Transitional and 11 Probable Readers!    


Thanks also to our nurse, Lisa Grosholz, HES secretaries Marnie Kosmal and Kelly Hay, the HES custodians, Transportation Secretary, Kim Hines, IT Department staff Michael Losk and Jonathan Westergom, and Susan Wilson from the Tarentum Library!


A HUGE THANK YOU to all of the organizations, community partners and churches listed below for providing lunch for our students -- what a wonderful display of generosity and community spirit in support of our students!  Special thanks to HSD Board member, Misty Chybrzynski, for coordinating this effort!


·  First United Presbyterian Church

·  Christ Our Hope Anglican Church

·  Natrona Heights Presbyterian Church

·  Brittany Kilgore - Certified Health Coach

·  Highlands School Board Directors

·  Abundant Joy Fellowship

·  Allegheny Family Network

·  BMC Rebels Cheer Team

·  Wrestling Boosters

·  Periello's

·  Orthodontique

·  Cloud 9 Massage, Facials & More Spa

·  Sabol Masonry, Contact

·  Generations House of Worship 


I am so proud of the hard work and commitment by the students, teachers, staff and community! We hope to continue to grow this program next summer. I hope everyone has a wonderful summer!



Catherine M. Russo

Coordinator of Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment and Funding Programs

Highlands School District