With the 2016–2017 school year just around the corner for students across the Lenape Regional High School District, the Board of Education took one last moment at its Aug. 24 meeting to reflect on last year’s many achievements.
Director of programs and planning Matthew Webb said last year’s 2015–2016 school year saw students score an average of 1589 on their SAT exams. Webb said the district’s average score was greater than the state average by 81 points and greater than the average of the United States by 99 points.
Webb said the 1589 score was also noteworthy as data released by the College Board shows students who earn a score of 1550 or more on their SAT exams have a 65 percent likelihood of getting a B- or better GPA during their freshman year of college, which has high likelihood of translating to college graduation.
Another area of note Webb pointed out was that 85 percent of district students who took AP exams last school year earned passing scores of three, four or five.
“We had more students in more AP classes than ever, taking more exams than ever, earning more three-plus scores than ever before, and we’re really proud of that,” Webb said.
Webb said 95.5 percent of students in the district graduated last year, which was about four points higher than Burlington County, almost six points higher than the state and about 13 points higher than the national rate.
Beyond academics, Webb said this year, Lenape District TV once again participated in the “U Got Brains Champion Schools Competition” where high schools in the state had to develop teen driving safety programs. This past school year was the fifth time in the past six years the district’s “Heads Up, Eyes Forward!” program won a grand prize.
Webb also said last year was another great year for the district in terms of donations received. When last year’s figure was combined with the previous eight years, when the district began tracking donation figures, Webb said the district has received more than $2.5 million.
In keeping with the theme of community giving, Webb said last year was the sixth year the district held a senior day of service, with more than 1,500 seniors doing community work at 90 sites.
Webb also said for the fourth consecutive year, all four schools in the district were designated as “No Place for Hate” by the Anti-Defamation League Program as a result of school-wide, anti-bias projects that were completed.
In addition to reviewing the previous school year at the meeting, Superintendent Carol Birnbohm also looked forward to how the district has been preparing for the new year about to start.
Birnbohm said the summer months were not only a good time for teachers to refresh and rejuvenate, but also a time to provide teachers the opportunity to work on their professional development.
Birnbohm said 32 teachers began a “studying skillful teaching” graduate class, with another 20 teachers beginning graduate work through an “investigating obstacles to instruction” course.
According to Birnbohm, the district also had 13 teachers attend advancement placement workshops, with seven attending Project Lead the Way certification courses. Project Lead the Way works as a non-profit organization to help schools develop Science, Technology, Engineering and Math curriculum.
“A lot of professional development occurred over the summer, and we’re excited our teachers took that opportunity,” Birnbohm said.