Results from the amended adequate yearly progress (AYP) reports held some good news for the Barrow County School system.
One of the four schools previously listed as failing to meet AYP has been removed from the list.
However, the school system overall remains listed as failing to meet AYP after 21.4 percent of its schools did not meet required standards for academic performance.
Barrow County School superintendent Wanda Creel said the school system is working to improve student academic performance.
“We are proud of the results from each of our schools,” Creel said. “Our teachers, administrators, staff, and parents are focused on supporting our students in their learning. However, we also recognize that we have room for growth, especially in a few subgroup areas at the high school level. We have identified instructional strategies targeted to meet the needs of our students and should increase overall student achievement at each grade level.”
Russell Middle School met AYP after school officials successfully appealed the preliminary results. The school had initially been listed as failing to meet AYP after RMS students with disabilities failed to meet standards in mathematics.
Though Russell Middle School is now listed as meeting AYP, the results for three other Barrow schools remain unchanged. Apalachee High School, Winder Barrow High School and Bethlehem Elementary School remain on the list of schools which failed to meet AYP.
For the two high schools, 2009-2010 marked the second consecutive year the schools did not make adequate yearly progress. As a result, both schools will now be listed as schools in need of improvement.
Creel emphasized that WBHS and AHS are not failing schools.
“It is imperative to understand how AYP is calculated,” Creel said. “Schools that do not meet AYP for two consecutive years are designated as ‘Needs Improvement.’ This does not mean that a school is a failing school. It means that specific strategies need to be implemented that meet the needs of that type of learner. Being classified as a ‘Needs Improvement’ school does not affect a school’s accreditation. Each of the schools in Barrow County is accredited with exemplary status through our District Accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS-CASI).”
Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, school systems must release information regarding progress in meeting yearly performance standards to the public. The NCLB act requires the determination of AYP for both schools and districts as a way of ensuring that all children have an equal opportunity to receive a quality education.
To meet AYP, schools must meet certain criteria for academic performance, test participation rates and secondary indicators including attendance and graduation rates.
In order for a school to be listed as meeting AYP, all students, as well as certain subgroups of students, must meet qualifying criteria.
To improve academic performance, the Barrow County School system is providing free tutoring to students at Apalachee and Winder-Barrow High Schools. The school system has also established a leadership team to identify areas for improvement. The team is also responsible for creating a plan of action to address any problems identified in the process.
AYP reports for each school are available at http://public.doe. k12.ga.us/ayp2010/state.asp.