2017-10-26 / News

Lawn , Melrose commended by state

Twenty-eight schools have been commended by the Rhode Island Department of Education, including Melrose and Lawn, which makes Jamestown the only district with 100 percent of its schools recognized.

Melrose School, which was commended for the third consecutive year, is one of only nine schools to earn that distinction since 2015. Lawn School was honored for the second straight year.

“The community should be very proud to learn of this amazing news,” said Ken Duva, superintendent. “Once again, we continue to be at the top of the state, developing well-rounded, autonomous students.”

Schools classified as “commended” are the most accomplished in the state, representing strong performances across metrics. The state has historically classified schools based on student proficiency in English and mathematics. Performance gaps in those subjects also are considered. A third measure differs by grade level, using graduation rate for high schools and student growth at elementary and middle schools.

Ken Wagner, Rhode Island’s education commission, said the goal is to replicate Jamestown’s “performance, growth and commitment to excellence” in every school throughout the Ocean State.

“I am very proud of our teachers, students and administration,” Duva said. “I know teaching is not an easy job, but it is so rewarding.”

Duva also praised the teaching assistants and support staff.

“I want everyone who works in our schools to know that you play an important role in the education of our students,” he said.

This round of classifications represents a transition for schools, however, as Rhode Island awaits federal approval of the plan it submitted in September. Under the U.S. Every Student Succeeds Act, which was signed into law by former President Barack Obama in 2015 to replace the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act, the statewide accountability system is expanding to include additional measures, including chronic absenteeism and suspension rates.

In addition to the accountability transition, Rhode Island will shift to a different system of assessments. In spring 2018, students will be tested using the Rhode Island Comprehensive Assessment System in the lower levels, the PSAT in 10th grade and the SAT for high school juniors and seniors.

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