District Remains 'In Need of Improvement' for Math

The numbers are determined by how students perform on the NECAP.

Following the release of the preliminary 2012 Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) numbers on Tuesday, it was determined that the Windham School District is making the grade in reading overall but has a lot more work to do in mathematics.

Assistant superintendent Amanda Lecaroz said that the district's response to intervention (RTI) program has been focused primarily on reading, so it's clear that it is working.

"We're headed in the right direction with that," she said.

But individually, almost every school in the district remains a school in need of improvement across the board. Only Golden Brook School made AYP in reading on New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) test scores from October 2011.

Lecaroz explained that it often sends the wrong message that the whole school has a problem if it doesn't make AYP, which she said is not the case.

For instance, she said that it was due specifically to the special education subgroup that each school besides GBS did not make AYP in either reading or math.

"Each of our schools will continue to work on their school in need of improvement plans," Lecaroz said.

While the RTI program has focused on reading, the district wants to expand that to math.

The RTI program essentially assesses all students and figures out which ones are having difficulty with particular concepts. It then allots extra time for them on those concepts.

"We continue to progress monitor them to make sure that they are closing that gap," Lecaroz said.

At this time, about 20 percent of students at GBS receive the RTI services, but it is a very fluid number that changes from year to year.

Lecaroz said that the district is piloting two different math resources at grades K-5,  and will be bringing a recommendation as to what program it recommends to use next year.

School board chairman Bruce Anderson concurred with Lecaroz, saying that there is a lot of positive to look at and that people shouldn't overreact to the "in need of improvement" labels.

"I don't want people to think that the ship is about to capsize," he said. "A lot of things are going really well in the district."

All Windham schools made AYP for attendance and graduation rate.


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