2010-07-08 / News

N.K.H.S. meets all performance targets

By Eileen M. Daly

State performance classifi- cations are out and it’s not bad news for North Kingstown High School.

According to the latest R.I. Dept. of Education state testing performance classifications – released June 29 – North Kingstown High School has been assigned a status of “adequate yearly progress” for all performance categories.

This is a significant improvement over last year, when the high school failed to meet RIDE targets set for special education math and English, as well as for participation rate.

Superintendent Phil Thornton commended the progress made at the high school in a listserv message sent out on June 30.

“…The high school regrouped and this year made AYP in all categories,” Thornton wrote.

Both Thornton and Assistant Superintendent Phil Auger reported that all of the district’s schools have met RIDE performance standards and received AYP classifications.

“Our schools are in very good shape,” Auger said, despite the fact that the district as a whole remains on “intervention” status for the second year in a row.

When asked about this discrepancy, Thornton and Auger explained that under the 2001 federal No Child Left Behind Act, schools and districts are required to focus attention on traditionally underserved minority subgroups. These subgroups include such factors as race, gender, poverty and special education.

Forty-five students are needed for a subgroup to count in the classification assessment, Thornton said.

“When we look at individual schools, there may not be enough students to make up a particular subgroup. However, when we combine all the schools in the district, those numbers add up. It’s an aggregate,” he said.

Auger and Thornton said the district fell short of AYP classifi cation in district elementary math, district middle English language arts and district elementary English language arts.

Both men said they are pleased with the overall progress of all of the schools in the district.

When asked what this data means in terms of the recent concerns about North Kingstown High School’s difficulties with graduation requirements – and the possible loss of Regentsapproved diplomas by 2012 – Thornton cautioned that these are very different conversations.

“Proficiency-based graduation requirements and AYP are two completely different conversations,” he said, adding that he will present on the high school’s progress on PBGRs at the Aug. 11 North Kingstown School Committee meeting.

During that presentation, Thornton said he will discuss the progress that has been made regarding the electronic portfolio process. A collection of representative assignments collected by students and presented at the end of their junior year, the electronic portfolio is one of the methods used at the high school to assess proficiency.

Thornton said he and Auger will also discuss the progress made toward meeting grade-span expectations in the main areas of English, math, social studies, science, physical education/health, art and technology.

“We are already becoming closely aligned with state requirements,” Auger said.

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