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November 26, 2014

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Lynnwood Elementary named a School In Need of Improvement;
School Quality Review Team to begin planning for next steps

Nov. 16, 2011—Late last week, the New York State Education Department released its annual accountability status of schools and districts under Title I. According to the report, Lynnwood Elementary School has been designated as a School in Need of Improvement (SINI).

The SINI designation means that the school has failed to make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) on New York State standardized tests in one student subgroup for two consecutive years. In this case, Lynnwood’s students with disabilities subgroup did not achieve AYP in English Language Arts for both the 2010 and 2011 assessment cycle. All other GCSD schools are currently listed in good standing.

This designation alone does not indicate a failing school. However, it does provide information for principals, teachers and parents on the areas of the academic program that can be improved.

"Lynnwood Elementary will continue its tradition of embracing challenges on behalf of our students," said Lynnwood Elementary School Principal Alicia Rizzo. "The SINI designation offers us an opportunity to celebrate our successes with students while taking time to reflect on areas that offer opportunities for improvement. We have already begun to take steps to address the needs of our students so we may continually move towards our goal of academic success for all."

As a result of the SINI designation, Rizzo has assembled a School Quality Review Team—comprised of teachers, teaching assistants, special education leaders, and district administrators—to conduct a comprehensive self-evaluation of the school’s instructional delivery model.

Upon completion of the review, the School Quality Review Team will submit a Comprehensive Education Plan to the New York State Education Department outlining their findings as well as a detailed list of planned improvements to the school program. Further details about the plan will be announced as they are finalized.

“Guilderland is committed to giving every child a quality education and helping all students reach high standards of achievement,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Marie Wiles. “We set high standards for all of our students, and we make every effort to provide the most effective instruction possible to help our students reach their fullest potential.”

In order to no longer be considered a School in Need of Improvement, Lynnwood Elementary School will need to make AYP for two years in a row.

Common Q & A

What is “SINI” status?

“SINI” stands for “School in Need of Improvement.” It is a designation based on whether a school was deemed to have made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) toward achievement of the New York State Standards. AYP is one of the cornerstones of the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001. It is a measure of student achievement on statewide tests in relation to a pre-determined achievement value (Annual Measurable Objective) as set by the state. Title I schools (schools receiving specific federal funding to address the needs of low-income populations) that do not meet the state standard for AYP for two or more consecutive years in the same subgroup are designated as schools in need of improvement.

This designation alone does not indicate a failing school. However, it does provide information for principals, teachers and parents on the areas of the academic program that can be improved.

How did Lynnwood Elementary School receive the SINI designation?
At the elementary level, schools are measured in three areas: participation and performance on the English Language Arts state assessments, participation and performance on the mathematics state assessments; and participation and performance on the science state assessments. Lynnwood Elementary School was identified as a SINI because it failed to make AYP on New York State standardized tests in one student subgroup for two consecutive years. In this case, Lynnwood’s students with disabilities subgroup did not achieve AYP in English Language Arts for the second year in a row. All other GCSD schools are currently in good standing.

In order for a school as a whole to make AYP, each school subgroup must meet or exceed the effective Annual Measurable Objective on statewide assessments. Although district leaders believe there is no excuse for any of Guilderland’s schools to not meet AYP, there are several factors to consider when talking about the students with disabilities subgroup: First, all students, including students with disabilities, are held to the same academic standards by the state. Secondly, in 2009-10, the state ended its use of a statistical adjustment for the students with disabilities subgroup which in turn has made it more difficult for this group to demonstrate AYP.

As we near 2013-14—the year in which all students in all subgroups must be proficient under NCLB—the expected yearly increase in performance will be incredibly difficult to attain. For example, the number of schools and districts that were newly identified for improvement throughout the state this year is unprecedented. Last year, 102 schools and 4 school districts were newly identified for improvement; this year the number of newly identified schools increased to 847 and the number of newly identified districts increased to 89. This trend will likely continue as state assessments are made more rigorous for all students in all subgroups in order to align to the new Common Core Standards beginning in 2012-13.

What is GCSD doing to improve student achievement at Lynnwood Elementary School?
Overall, students at Lynnwood Elementary School scored significantly above the effective Annual Measurable Objective set by the state. The school’s SINI designation is based on testing results from a sub-group that contains 50 students.

As a result of the SINI designation, Lynnwood Elementary School Principal Alicia Rizzo has assembled a School Quality Review Team—comprised of teachers, teaching assistants, special education leaders, and district administrators—to conduct a comprehensive self-evaluation of the school’s instructional delivery model. Upon completion of the review, the School Quality Review Team will submit a Comprehensive Education Plan to the New York State Education Department outlining their findings as well as a detailed list of planned improvements to the school program.

As Lynnwood Elementary School is a Title I school, the district will receive nearly $30,000 to address any concerns raised by the Quality Review Team and to implement any recommended changes to the instructional delivery model at the school.

What can parents do to help?
Parents are an integral part of ensuring the academic success of their children. Here are some suggestions to help you work with your school and the district to support improvements:

Be sure that your child comes to school every day and that they arrive on time.

Contact your child’s teacher or building principal if you have any concerns about their performance at school and/or the school’s educational program.

Continue to visit the district Web site to learn about our improvement initiatives.

Contact your child’s principal or Superintendent of Schools Dr. Marie Wiles for additional information about Guilderland’s improvement initiatives.

Talk with district staff about school improvement plans.

Volunteer with the PTA, Sports Boosters, Music Boosters or other school/parent organizations, or volunteer in your child’s classroom.

Learn more about NCLB requirements and Title I by accessing the NYSED website at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/TitleI and http://www.p12.nysed.gov/nclb/

Become aware of strategies to improve student academic achievement. The United States Department of Education Web site offers many helpful publications for parents at www.ed.gov/index.jhtml including a Web site of free academic resources from federal agencies: http://www.free.ed.gov/index.cfm

 

 

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