Notification of AYP Report

NOTIFICATION OF AYP REPORT

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September 1, 2015

Dear Parents,

As you are aware, our district is dedicated to providing all students with the educational foundation necessary to succeed in school and life. To ensure your child’s success, we have set high standards that are reflected in what is taught in each of our buildings and classrooms. Our district is also committed to keeping our parents and community informed of important issues affecting our schools. While holding high expectations for ourselves and our students is not new, the way our district’s, schools’, and students’ achievement is measured and reported is new. The federal education legislation, entitled the No Child Left Behind Act, requires that all districts and schools throughout the nation make Adequate Yearly Progress.

What is Adequate Yearly Progress?
The No Child Left Behind Act requires each state to set annual Adequate Yearly Progress goals that all districts, schools, and students are to meet between the 2014-15 school year. It is the goal of the No Child Left Behind Act that 100% of students will reach proficiency in reading and mathematics by 2014. Each year, as part of these requirements, the state releases Adequate Yearly Progress reports for each school district in the state of North Dakota. These reports measure our district’s performance in terms of the percentage of students who are at or above state-defined academic standard goals in reading and mathematics as measured by the North Dakota State Assessment. The reports are called Adequate Yearly Progress reports (otherwise known as AYP reports), and the district is required to share this report with its parents.

District AYP is determined by combining the academic achievement results in reading/language arts and mathematics assessments, student participation rates in these assessments, high school graduation rates, and elementary and middle school attendance rates. Many times tested subgroups are not large enough to meet the minimum group size at an individual school level. However, when all of the data is compiled into one report at the district level, the number will, in many cases, reach or surpass the amount needed to produce an AYP report. This could possibly identify the district as not making AYP even though no individual building in the district has been identified for improvement.

How is AYP determined?
Enclosed you will find our district and school’s AYP report. There are actually four specific criteria that the state reviews to determine if a district and school have made AYP. These four criteria include:
o    Whether the percentage of students taking the North Dakota State Assessment (in both the composite and each subgroup) meet the state’s annual AYP goals in the proficient and advanced proficient areas.
o    Whether 95% of the students in the entire district, as well as in each subgroup, took the state assessment.
o    Whether the district’s schools have met the secondary indicator for participation rates
    Elementary/Middle Schools – student attendance rates
    High Schools – student graduation rates
o    Whether the district’s achievement and participation rates have passed the test for statistical reliability.

Did our district and school make AYP?
As indicated on the bottom of the enclosed district AYP report, you will find that our district and schools did make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). The districts was in the fourth consecutive year for not making Adequate Yearly Progress and our elementary school’s second year of not making AYP; therefore, our district will remain identified as a district in need of improvement, otherwise known as program improvement and the elementary school will move into the program improvement process. This year the schools AYP reports will be different from previous years as quoted by the DPI. Here is the statement,” Similar to the preliminary school AYP reports issued on September 4, 2015, the school district AYP reports differ from previous years’ reporting in one critical regard. This year’s AYP reports are based on an AYP Freeze reporting waiver provided to the state by the U.S. Department of Education (USED). For this year’s AYP report, student achievement rates from the state assessments will not be considered in determining schools’ or districts’ AYP designations. Instead, AYP determinations will be based solely on participation rates as the primary indicator for all schools, plus graduation rates for high schools and attendance rates for elementary and middle schools, as the secondary indicators for reporting”.

How does our district compare with other districts in the state? Many districts are experiencing the same problem. There were a total of 162 schools that did not make AYP for the 2013-14 school years. Because of the AYP freeze how school districts fared will vary. To see the reasons for this identification, go to the following website: http://www.dpi.state.nd.us/dpi/reports/Profile/1313/ProfileDistrict/PlantAchieve.pdf

What happens when a district and school is identified as not making AYP?
Once a district has been identified as not making AYP for two or more consecutive years, the district enters what is called program improvement status. Under program improvement, a district must write a plan for improving the academic achievement of its students and additional resources must be focused toward instructional strategies and supportive programs aimed at meeting the needs of all students, including educationally disadvantaged students. In addition, a district enters a timeline of actions that the district must take based on the number of years that a school has been identified as a program improvement district.

What does this mean for our district and school?
We will continue with program improvement even-though there was a freeze this year. The information below outlines the sanctions our district must follow during this stage of its program improvement status:
Program Improvement Plan – Last year, a team of administrators, teachers and parents developed a plan to raise mathematics and reading scores within our district. We are asking for your assistance and participation in our efforts to review our district’s identification for program improvement.

Parent Meeting — Our district will be hosting a parent meeting to review and revise our program improvement plan. We will analyze our student achievement data and other school district’s data, to determine what changes we need to make to improve instructional strategies in the classroom that will help enhance student learning and student performance. Please plan on attending this meeting (schedule for date and time TBD) so that you can offer input on our decisions and learn about how you, as a parent, can participate in our district’s effort to leave no child behind.

Professional Development Requirement – Our school district is required to use 10% of the district’s Title I allocation on professional development that is specifically designed to improve classroom teaching. These funds can be used in both our district’s Title I and non-Title I buildings for all instructional staff. When the faculty returns to school, we will review the professional development activities that were provided last year to determine what professional developments activities in math and reading we should concentrate on to enhance teacher and student performance.

The state also offers our district professional development through an annual program improvement workshop, quarterly program improvement news brief, a monthly newsletter, as well as ongoing technical assistance and support.

Additional Resources – Our school district believes with the dedication of staff, the support of families, the cooperation of the community, and adequate resources, all children can succeed. Our district remains committed to No Child Left Behind’s goal of closing gaps in the achievement among our students. For this reason, our district has undertaken a number of initiatives to ensure that all children attain proficiency, including: providing professional development opportunities for staff, new math and reading curriculum in the areas of need consistent throughout all grades levels.

Supplemental Service- During our school’s duration in program improvement we must provide the lowest achieving students with the opportunity to receive additional instruction in reading and math beyond the regular school day. These instructional services are called supplemental services. In the upcoming weeks, you will receive a letter from the school explaining what supplemental services are and how (if your child is identified as eligible), your child can participate.

Distribution of State Program Improvement Notification – Attached to this letter you will find a memo from the State Superintendent of Public Instruction regarding the district’s identification for program improvement. The law requires that when a district is identified for program improvement, the State of North Dakota must promptly notify the parents of each student enrolled in our district’s schools.

It is our challenge, goal, and commitment to make sure we achieve success for every student. As you can see in the activities identified above, we have strong plans for working to improve the educational programs within our district. In order to continue reaching the high academic goals for student proficiency set by the No Child Left Behind Act, our district needs your participation. Supporting the district and becoming involved in your child’s school and participating in your child’s education is key to his/her academic progress. Please continue to work with us to make sure we continue to reach these objectives.

If you have any questions about the No Child Left Behind Act or Adequate Yearly Progress, feel free to contact the district office.

Sincerely,

Wade Northrop
Superintendent