Cherokee High School scored high in several categories on New Jersey school performance report

New Jersey recently released its annual school performance report documenting how well schools in the state are educating their students through the study of multiple indicators such as test scores, absences, dropout rates, graduation rates and the number of students going on to enroll in college.

According to the report, Cherokee High School scored very high compared to other schools in the state in the academic achievement performance category, and CHS scored high compared to other schools in the state in the collage and career readiness and graduation and post-secondary performance categories.

Lenape Regional High School District Superintendent Carol Birnbohm said the school was happy with a majority of the report, including graduation and post-secondary performance rates.

“Overall we are very pleased with the report, which accurately reflects the district’s strengths as a high achieving district,” Birnbohm said.

The graduation and post-secondary category measures graduation rates, dropout rates and attendance at post-secondary institutions.

According to the report, CHS scored higher than 79 percent of other schools in the state in regards to its overall graduation rate.

The academic achievement category measures the knowledge students have in math and language arts and includes the results of the New Jersey High School Proficiency Assessment exam.

According to the report, CHS scored higher than 84 percent of other schools in the state in HSPA language arts proficiency and higher the 82 percent of other schools in the state in HSPA math proficiency.

The college and career readiness category measures how prepared students are for college and careers by examining factors such as the number of students enrolled in the 12th grade who took the Scholastic Aptitude Test or American College Testing assessment, the percentage of students who scored above the SAT benchmark of 1550 and the percentage of 11th and 12th graders who took at least one AP or IB test in English, math, social studies or science.

According to the report, the SAT benchmark score of 1550 in critical reading, mathematics and writing combined indicates a 65 percent likelihood of students achieving a B- average or higher during their first year of college.

The number of students at Cherokee scored a 1550 or better on the SAT was 52 percent. That score means Cherokee beat out 72 percent of other schools in the state.

An area CHS did not score as high on was the number of students taking specific AP tests. Only 13 percent of students took at least one AP test in English, math, social studies or science.

Birnbohm said that score was lower because Cherokee offers so many AP courses that a large number of students aren’t concentrated in any one area, like English, math, social studies or science.

“Lenape Regional High School District students can select from 18 AP courses,” Birnbohm said. “We encourage our students to select courses based on their interests and allow them to determine which AP tests they need to take based on their college and career goals.”

Birnbohm also said the report doesn’t factor in the district’s College Accelerated Program, which allows students to start earning college credits while still taking class in the district.

“Both programs are important as they offer the opportunity for rigorous course work that lead to college credits,” Birnbohm said. “We are hopeful that the department will include dual enrollment programs like our CAP program.”