SH misses AYP mark
When Adequate Yearly Progress numbers were released early last month, two of Harrison County’s three school corporations breathed a sigh of relief, while the other slipped backwards and failed to make the grade for the second time in three years.
The South Harrison Community School Corp. had five of eight schools fail to meet AYP, including South Central and Corydon Central high schools.
As they have since 2003, all schools in North Harrison Community School Corp. and Lanesville Community School Corp. made AYP in 2008.
‘At Lanesville, and I think most schools, we try to take things one step at a time and realize school improvement is a continuous process,’ Sam Gardner, interim superintendent at Lanesville, said. ‘We are pleased that our student academic performance has been at or above state averages, but also realize that improvement is the name of the game, and we also realize there are other aspects of our school program that deserve just as much attention as test scores.’
AYP designations for Indiana school corporations and schools are determined by student performance and participation rates on the Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress-Plus (ISTEP+) assessments in English/language arts and mathematics; student attendance rates (for elementary and middle schools); and graduation rates (for high schools).
There are two ways for a corporation to make AYP. The first is to have all three subgroups be above the cut score (about 72 percent), and the second is to meet a safe harbor score (to show a certain percentage of improvement). If any one area does not improve, the entire school is labeled as failing to meet AYP.
In 2006, South Harrison failed to meet AYP in the area of special education. In 2007, the district failed to meet AYP in the middle and high school areas of special education, but because the elementary special education area showed an improvement of 11.7 percent, AYP was met.
Last year, not only did South Harrison fail to meet AYP in all subgroups of special education and free lunch in English/language arts, SHCSC also showed a decrease nearly across the board in all subgroups.
Decreases don’t necessarily mean a subgroup failed to meet AYP, however. When the state considers AYP for a school corporation, it considers three grade spans and all students are counted. Therefore, a school could miss AYP in a category and the whole corporation could still meet AYP standards.
Overall, all South Harrison schools made AYP in English/language arts and math; however, that wasn’t enough to meet the federal standards for the corporation.
Compared to South Harrison’s 2007 numbers, the only area that improved was middle school special education’s math numbers, which jumped to 60.7 percent passing, up from 54.5 last year.
Because it has not made AYP, South Harrison will have to implement a series of improvements, including: notifying parents they may send their student to another public school in the district that has not been identified for school improvement; notify parents about available tutoring services provided outside the school day or year to eligible non-proficient and low-income students from a list of state-approved providers; schools must develop a two-year improvement plan within three months; school must use 10 percent of its Title I funds each year for teacher development activities; and state and school district must provide assistance that supports the school’s improvement plan, including analyzing assessment data and improving professional development and resource allocation.
Other corporations that failed to meet AYP in neighboring counties include Greater Clark County Schools, New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated Schools and West Clark Community Schools.