The Academy Charter School: Outcomes
As a public educational institution, The Academy Charter School is held to the state-required, criterion-referenced assessment used to measure a student’s attainment of Pennsylvania’s academic standards. This is known as the PSSA (Pennsylvania System of School Assessment).
In spite of their extensive past history of non-attendance, discipline problems and criminal activity, our students have made outstanding progress toward achieving assessment targets. In 2009, for instance, The Academy Charter School met all nine target objectives and met their Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) goal.
PSSA Tools and Support
To help our young people maximize their proficiency as measured by the State PSSA tests, we offer several paths to success, including
PSSA Bell Ringers - Every teacher sets aside 5-10 minutes a day to engage students in PSSA-style questions relating to that day's lesson plan.
PSSA Preparatory Class - Required for all students, this class presents lessons and tests in English, math, writing and science in preparation for the exam.
Test Format Preparation - Teachers format class tests and quizzes in PSSA style whenever possible. This boosts confidence and reduces test-taking anxiety.
Using experiential and cooperative learning principles, all students complete two service projects focusing on areas such as youth violence, health and wellness, peer-to-peer mentoring, environmental impact, homelessness and hunger and community revitalization.
Students participate in roundtable discussions with community leaders about the impact of key issues on the community and then plan a class service project. Past projects have included work with U.S. Marine Toys 4 Tots, Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, school reading programs, local blood drives and school or community recycling programs.