Newton County School System (NCSS) has received from the Georgia Department of Education thedistrict's report on Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for the 2009-2010 school year. Administrators arecurrently reviewing that information. According to the report, fifteen of twenty-three schools included in the report made AYP in 2009-2010; the district did not meet AYP in 2009-2010.It is important to note that these are not the final 2009-2010 AYP results as students who did not pass the reading or math portion of the Georgia Criterion Referenced Competency Tests (GCRCT) in the spring were offered remediation and the opportunity to retest and that data is not included in the preliminary AYP reports. The Georgia Department of Education will be updating AYP results later this fall to account for the results of the CRCT retests in grades 3, 5, and 8. Once those results are determined, it is possible that more schools will have made AYP for 2009-2010.
"Our results are not what they should be now, nor what they will be in the future," said NCSS Superintendent Gary Mathews. "An eternal optimist, I'm confident that if we systematically examine our data for strengths and weaknesses, understand and implement best practices with fidelity at the school, district, and classroom level, our students will be the benefactors. But, first, real school improvement begins with looking in the mirror as we will not be a system which looks out the window for all of the outside factors that bind our hands. Improvement begins with each of us, a student at a time."
AYP designation is a reflection of the individual schools' performance in several criteria: percentage of students taking the test; the percentage of students meeting standards in reading/language arts and mathematics; and for elementary and middle school students, the percentage of student absenteeism. For high schools, the second indicator is graduation rate.
In addition to looking at the total school performance in these criteria, the performance of several subgroups is also analyzed. These subgroups include students with disabilities, the economic status of families, race ethnicity, and limited English proficiency. A school that fails to achieve the criteria in any one of the three areas (test participation, academic achievement, and attendance/graduation) for any subgroup is classified as not meeting AYP. Should any of the subgroups fail to meet the standards, the school is also classified as not meeting AYP-even if the school as a whole meets the criteria.
For five of the seven schools-Middle Ridge, Cousins, Indian Creek, Liberty, and Veterans Memorial- that did not meet AYP, it was the academic performance of students with disabilities, not the student population as a whole, which resulted in the school's AYP designation. For Ficquett, it was the academic performance of students with disabilities and economic disadvantaged that resulted in the school's AYP designation. Both Porterdale Elementary and Newton High School did not meet AYP due to school-wide performance in Math in addition to the subgroup performance of other subgroups, including black and economically disadvantaged for Porterdale and black, students with disabilities, and economically disadvantaged for Newton.
Ficquett Elementary School did not meet AYP because both the economically disadvantaged and the students with disabilities subgroups did not meet standards in math.
As this is the second consecutive year that Ficquett did not make AYP, the school is now on the Needs Improvement List and must offer supplemental services for students.
Middle Ridge Elementary School did not make AYP because the students with disabilities subgroup did not meet standards in math or English language arts. Although Middle Ridge made AYP the previous school year, the school needed to make AYP again this year to be removed from the "Needs Improvement List." As a result, Middle Ridge must continue to offer school choice. Parents will be notified by letter and through public meetings to explain options. Students zoned for Middle Ridge will have the option of attending East Newton or Heard?Mixon.
Porterdale Elementary School did not make AYP as a result of both schoolwide and subgroup performance (black students and economically disadvantaged) in math. Porterdale made AYP in 2008-2009; therefore, the school is NOT on the Needs Improvement List.
At the middle school level, only Clements Theme School made AYP in 2009-2010. The district's remaining middle schools-Cousins, Indian Creek, Liberty, and Veterans Memorial, did not meet AYP due to the performance of the students with disabilities subgroup.
Cousins did not make AYP because the students with disabilities subgroup did not meet standards in math and English language arts. Because this is the second consecutive year the school did not make AYP, Cousins is now on the "Needs Improvement List" and must offer supplemental services for students.
For the third consecutive year Indian Creek did not make AYP. The school did not make AYP this year because the students with disabilities subgroup did not meet performance standards in math. As a result, the school will be placed on the Needs Improvement List and must offer school choice in 2010-2011. Students zoned for Indian Creek will have the option of attending Clements Middle School or Liberty Middle School.
Liberty and Veterans Memorial
The students with disabilities subgroups did not meet performance standards in math and English language arts in 2009-2010 and as a result, both schools did not make AYP. The schools are NOT on the "Needs Improvement List."
Newton High School did not make AYP in 2009-2010 as a result of both schoolwide and subgroup (black, students with disabilities, and economic disadvantaged) performance in Math and subgroup performance (students with disabilities) in English language arts. The school is NOT on the Needs Improvement List.
East Newton Elementary Made AYP
Ficquett Elementary Did Not Make AYP
Heard-Mixon Elementary Made AYP
Livingston Elementary Made AYP
Live Oak Elementary Made AYP
Mansfield Elementary Made AYP
Middle Ridge Elementary Did Not Make AYP
Oak Hill Elementary Made AYP
Palmer-Stone Elementary Made AYP
Porterdale Elementary Did Not Make AYP
Rocky Plains Elementary Made AYP
South Salem Elementary Made AYP
West Newton Elementary Made AYP
Cousins Middle Did Not Make AYP
Indian Creek Middle Did Not Make AYP
Liberty Middle Did Not Make AYP
Veterans Memorial Middle Did Not Make AYP
Alcovy High Made AYP
Eastside High Made AYP
Newton High Did Not Make AYP
Fairview Theme Made AYP
Clements Theme Made AYP
Challenge Charter Academy Made AYP
Links to the system and school AYP reports are available on the Newton County School System website at the following page: http://www.newtoncountyschools.org/about/ayp.asp
Check Wednesday's edition of The Covington News for more on this story.