Test scores at PS 65 in Ozone Park went up by 47 percent in English and 11 percent in math from 2003-04 , while students at PS 106 in Far Rockaway increased their test scores by 37 percent in English and 18 percent in math.Iris Nelson, principal of PS 65, attributed the success of her students to the Success for All program, a replacement for the Board of Education's standardized curriculum. The school dedicates a 90-minute block to both math and reading, with extra help given for those students who are not at the appropriate reading level.PS 65's PTA Co-President Jenny Suarez, had a smile from ear to ear when she heard the school won the Pathfinder. "It's about time we got acknowledged for the positive," she said. "It's so rewarding to know that out of all the schools (more than 2,900 statewide), our small school is one of them." The school is able to participate in the Success For All program through a grant from a private benefactor."I saw success with my own daughter. In eight weeks she went from a 3.1 to 5.2" reading level, said Anna Prisco, whose fourth-grader has been in the program since kindergarten. "Every year it's an improvement. It's great." In order to be considered for the award, at least half of a school's students must meet or exceed state standards on the English language arts and math tests for the fourth grade.Both schools' fourth-graders improved by a large margin on the English language arts exam. Only 48 percent of fourth-graders attending PS 65 met or exceeded state standards in 2003, but that number increased to 71 percent in 2004. Some 82 percent of PS 106's fourth-graders met or exceeded state standards in 2004, compared to just 58 percent the year before, according to greatschools.net. On the standardized math exam, PS 65 recorded a 10 percent increase, from 79 to 89 percent and PS 106 showed a 13 percent improvement, from 71 percent to 84 percent,.The schools will receive $1,000 for school programs along with a trophy for their achievement. Nelson said her school has yet to decide on how it will use the funds, but will put it towards "something we couldn't ordinarily buy."Tessa Alleyne, principal of PS 106, could not be reached for comment.Reach intern Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at news@times
©2005 Community News Group
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