NASD PATHS to Excellence
PATHS - Promoting All to Higher Standards of Excellence
  • PATHS is an over arching framework for indicating every student’s progress, grade pre-kindergarten through 12, toward the goal of being post-secondary or college ready.
  • PATHS is a district-wide commitment to all students, families and the community.
  • PATHS is a bold and courageous district-wide commitment to prepare students for the 21st century.
  • Targets are comprehensive internal measures that indicate student progress in reading and math, from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. 
  • PATHS indicates set benchmarks that are the annual objectives (checkpoints)  used by teachers, principals and district personnel to guide the work toward meeting the targets by 2014. Objectives are reviewed and revised annually.
  • Because PATHS increases graduation rate, it is an investment in our students that will ultimately result in the sustainability and growth of the community.


Target #1:   Kindergarten Readers

By June of 2014, 90% Kindergarten students will read text at Level D or higher.


Kindergarten students will read and interpret text at Level D or higher.

Rationale: This PATH will ensure that students enter first grade with the prerequisite skills needed to successfully learn to read at proficient and advanced levels and to continue to improve and deepen their reading ability throughout their school career. They will enter first grade ready to read level D text with assistance and support from a teacher. At an instructional reading level of D students are able to read books like Big Brown Bear by David McPhail, Cloudy Day, Sunny Day by Donald Crews, and Cowboy Up by Larry Dane Brimmer with instructional help and support of the teacher. When students are reading at level D they are learning to:

  • Read longer pieces of text
  • Self-correct reading errors using visual information
  • Remember details from text and pictures
  • Identify new words using knowledge of sound/letter relationships and word parts
  • Search for understanding while reading



Target #2: Second Grade Reading


By June 2014, 90% of students completing grade 2 will have an instructional reading level of M or higher


Rationale: This PATH will ensure that a student will end grade 2 ready to read level M text with assistance and support from a teacher. In grade 3, they begin the school year with an instructional reading level of M. Level M texts are longer and have complex language and subtle meanings that require interpretation and background knowledge. This target indicates that students have learned most of the essential and foundational decoding strategies and are ready to learn how to flexibly apply word-solving strategies to more complex, multi-syllable words. They will continue to develop an extensive sight vocabulary, and are ready to extend their ability to understand text, including the ability to go beyond the text to make more sophisticated interpretations.



Target #3: Proficient / Advanced Elementary Math


By June 2014, 90% of all students at the end of 4th grade will be able to demonstrate proficient and advanced performance on a mathematics assessment based on the 4thgrade Common Core State Standards.


Rationale:This PATH will ensure that all students entering middle school will have the prerequisite skills to successfully navigate higher mathematics, particularly that content which is necessary to form a strong foundation in algebraic concepts leading to Algebra I.



Target #4:  Fifth Grade Reading


By June 2014, 90% of students completing 5th grade will read and interpret text at and/or above grade level


Rationale:  This PATH will ensure that by the end of grade 5 students have developed a strong foundation of multiple decoding strategies, extensive sight vocabularies, and sophisticated comprehension ability. They are ready to use literacy as a tool that gives them the power to find the information they need, to learn content area material from textbooks, and to express their opinions orally and in writing. In grade 6 they will continue to gain the world experience and content knowledge, and the accumulation of text experience needed to deeply understand the more complex text they will be reading through middle and high school. In grade 6 they will develop the language and literacy attitudes and skills that will serve them well over the course of their lives.



Target #5:  Algebra 1by 9th Grade


Rationale: Algebra I is a gatekeeper subject that opens the way to higher mathematics in high school and college. Students how have a thorough understanding of algebraic concepts can successfully accomplish extensive explorations in advanced mathematics.




Target #6: PA Assessments


By June 2014, 100% of students will meet proficient and advanced levels as defined by ESEA 2001 (NCLB).

By June 2014, the Norristown Area School District will be a high performing district as evidenced by PSSA data.


Rationale: High performing districts are characterized by graduation rates, scores on the state assessment, and the number of advanced courses completed by students. High performing districts pursue great results by creating and sustaining a sense of urgency and responsibility for improvement and by building a sense of efficacy related to that improvement. This is accomplished by sharing data about the progress of students and student groups openly and regularly, by articulating high expectations of ambitious goals for all students and by promoting a “no excuses” attitude; always keeping the focus on student achievement.




Target #7: PSAT Participation


By June 2014, 100% of 10th and 11th grade students will takethe PSAT.


Rationale: The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) is a standardized test which provides firsthand practice for the SAT. It also gives students a chance to enter NMSC scholarship programs in the junior year and gain access to college and career planning tools. The PSAT will help students with feedback on their strengths and weaknesses on skills necessary for college study and for preparation/practice for the SAT to improve scores. Students taking the PSAT will begin initial contact with colleges. Providing students with this experience early in the high school years proves to be a benefit.



Target #8: SAT Scores


Rationale: By June 2014,80% of students will take the SAT exam by their senior year.Rationale:The SAT is a standardized test and one of the criteria used for admissions by most colleges and universities. It tests the student’s knowledge of reading, writing and math— subjects that are taught every day in high school classrooms, as well as,indicators of academic success for college. Taking the SAT is the first step in finding the right college for students to further develop their skills and pursue their career interests. Many colleges use the combination of grades and SAT results to identify scholarship candidates. This goal will make graduating seniors competitive for college admissions and viable candidates entering the job market.




Target #9:  Advanced Placement Courses


By June2014, 60% of all HS seniors will have successfully completed a college level course and earn college credit.


Rationale: The successful completion of AP courses has benefits during the college application process and the undergraduate experience.




Target #10:  College Acceptance


By June 2014, 80% of all graduating seniors will apply to and be accepted by at least one post-secondary educational institution.            


Rationale:  every student is prepared for college whether or not they attend.  They may apply and attend trade schools, the military, etc.