Herricks students test scores have again placed the district on the map as one of the top school districts statewide and nationally.
K. Elizabeth Guercin, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, told the Board of Education Thursday that Herricks students again ranked in the top 1 percent of schools in the nation when presenting the year’s Student Achievement Report.
“Recognition nationwide certainly says something about who we are as a district,” Guercin said. U.S. News & World Report ranked Herricks school district 348th in the nation and 47th in New York, while Niche ranked them 34th nationally and 7th in the state.
Guercin’s 33-page report showed improvements across several assessment tests, including standardized tests, AP exams and the ACT exam.
Guercin cautioned the board that as a result of the state’s new two-session test design and performance standards, the 2018 grades 3-8 ELA and math results shouldn’t be compared with prior-year results. Comparisons will pick back up in 2019, Guercin said.
Despite the warning statement, Guercin said most areas showed continued improvement, particularly the district’s Regents scores.
Some 81 percent of Herricks 2017 graduates left the school with a Regents with Advanced Designation, among the highest in Long Island’s districts.
One area of struggle that board trustee Nancy Feinstein identified was the mastery level for common core algebra 2 in the district. Guercin said that the test itself is fairly difficult, but scores have improved from 18 percent mastery in 2016 to 42 percent as of 2018.
In longitudinal AP data, Herricks saw increases in both the number of students enrolled in AP classes, 750, and total exams administered, 1892. 78 percent of students posted scores of three of higher on the exams, some eligible for college credits.
Board Vice President Brian Hassan said that the high exam scores were a credit to the administration and teachers for the huge effort that goes into continuing to improve already high scores.
Alexandria Battaglia, CPA, also presented to the board the findings of the district’s annual financial report. Battaglia said the district’s finances were in great shape and issued an unmodified opinion, an auditor’s best possible endorsement.
“Over we were very pleased with this year’s audit and will present a corrective action plan for any internal improvements,” Battaglia said.
The board voted unanimously to accept the 2017-2018 financial reports.
In honor of school board recognition week, students from the high school sang the national anthem for the board and presented them with gifts for their voluntary service to the district.
“I’m grateful for our Herricks community,” Nicholas Capelle, a senior representative of the student government, said. “And thankful to the board for their support.”