HERMITAGE School to open doors to public

The school board is expected to oppose a state plan to issue proficiency certificates with high school diplomas.
HERMITAGE, Pa. -- The public will get its first look at the renovated and expanded Hickory High School.
Superintendent Karen Ionta told the Hermitage School Board on Monday that an open house and dedication program is scheduled for 7 p.m. Oct. 23.
The $24 million project has taken about two years and is nearing completion.
Ionta said the open house will begin with a ceremony in the new auditorium and will be followed by tours of the building.
Proficiency seals
In other business, Carol Rich, a member of the board, suggested that Hermitage oppose the state Department of Education's plans to use certificates of proficiency with diplomas presented to graduating high school seniors in the state this year.
The state had initially announced plans to place proficiency level seals on the diplomas of graduates last year, but school boards across the state opposed the idea, saying that the seals were based on one-time performances on standardized tests and might not accurately reflect any given student's proficiency in anything.
It would be unfair to label any student as not proficient in a subject based on that method of testing, the districts said.
Hermitage was one of the school boards to adopt a resolution opposing the seals and argued that the state was trying to usurp local school district authority by intervening in the graduation process.
The board took no immediate action on Rich's suggestion, but school director James Lumpp said school districts are again banding together against the latest state certificate idea, and he promised to check on the matter.
Ionta warned that the state has indicated it plans to put proficiency level seals on student transcripts beginning next year.

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