SHS again makes Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program list of low achieving schools

Due to low state test results, Sayre Area High School students are eligible for the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program for the fifth consecutive year.

The Sayre Area High School’s state testing results have placed it in the bottom 15% of Pennsylvania high schools for the fifth year in a row, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Because of this result, district families are again eligible for the state’s Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program to help their children move outside of the district.

In a letter posted to the district’s website earlier this week, signed by high school Principal Dayton Handrick and Superintendent Dr. Jill Daloisio, officials said, “While we recognize the importance of state-mandated assessments such as the PSSA and Keystone Exams, it is also critical to remember that they are one measure of a school’s effectiveness and its students’ success.”

The ranking was based on the results from 2018-2019 testing, according to the letter. Under the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program, low-achieving schools have to offer students the choice to transfer out of the district, and can apply for scholarships to cover the costs.

“Please know that the staff at SHS have a relationship with your child and in the process of implementing several corrective actions to continue serving your child and meet their needs,” the letter continued. “Some preliminary results from our benchmark assessments show growth as we continuously work to improve the education your child receives here at SHS. However, if you feel your child will be better served in another school, you may request a transfer for your child to one of the schools participating in the OSTCP.”

Scholarships are contingent on available funding, officials added. North Rome Christian School is currently the only local participant in the program.

Locally, the Sayre Area High School was joined by the Towanda Jr./Sr. High School the previous two years, and the Wyalusing Valley High School the year prior.

The Athens Area High School was the sole Bradford County school on the list six years ago, and was the first local entry after the list began.

Those interested in taking advantage of the OSTCP can visit the Department of Community and Economic Development’s website at www.newpa.com/ostc. There, the department has listed participating scholarship organizations, nonpublic schools, and information about the application process.

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