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Yet another downpour was in full stream, literally, when the Great Bend Township board of supervisors met on the evening of July 19. The deluge prompted three phone calls during the meeting, two from residents on Old Route 11. After the first one, supervisor and roadmaster George Haskins immediately took off, responding to a report that water was running down the mountain, through a home on Old Route 11 and across the road.
High School Principal Michael Thornton was almost giddy reporting to his school board the impressive results of the latest PSSA (Pennsylvania System of School Assessment) exams. At a mid-summer meeting of the Blue Ridge Board on July 19, Mr. Thornton called the scores the best "since I've been here." Scores on these tests - Pennsylvania's response to the challenge of the federal No Child Left Behind Act to improve the country's schools - are reported in a variety of ways. The standards require continuous improvement, leading to boosts in levels of student performance from "below basic" to "advanced." The ultimate requirement is to raise all students to the "proficient" level or above. According to Mr. Thornton, Blue Ridge High School students lifted themselves 10 percentage points in both math and reading in the "proficient" category. He congratulated his staff, and especially Mr. Hastie and Mrs. Manchester, for their outstanding efforts. Middle School Principal John Manchester and Elementary School Principal Robert Dietz reported similar gains in recent testing.
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