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Alexandria schools make headway on No Child Left Behind

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When it comes to Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) and measuring students' testing proficiency, Alexandria's school district is progressing quite well.

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After two years of "not making AYP," Alexandria School District has turned the corner and it recently received news that the district is "making AYP."

AYP is a means of measuring, through standards and assessments, the students' achievement of federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) goals.

The goal of NCLB is to ensure that all children have a fair, equal, and significant opportunity to obtain a high-quality education and reach, at a minimum, proficiency on challenging state academic achievement standards and state academic assessments, according to the Minnesota Department of Education.

The state's education department measured student proficiency in reading and math during the 2010-2011 school year and released AYP results last month.

BREAKDOWN

BY SCHOOL

As a district, despite making AYP this year, Alexandria Public Schools remains under a "Needs Improvement" plan for 2011-2012. School officials explained that it takes two years of "not making AYP" to get on the Needs Improvement list and two years of "making AYP" to get off that list.

The district must submit improvement plans to the state while under the Needs Improvement designation.

Five of the district's six schools that were not making AYP in 2010 have improved to making AYP in 2011.

One school, Discovery Middle School, did not make AYP in 2010 or 2011.

Each school is divided into student subgroups and it was math proficiency that presented a challenge to the special education student subgroup at Discovery Middle School.

Here's a breakdown of all schools AYP proficiency in 2011 versus 2010 in District 206:

--Carlos Elementary School:

Making AYP in 2011, not making AYP in 2010.

--Garfield Elementary:

Making AYP in 2011 and 2010.

--Lincoln Elementary:

Making AYP in 2011, not making AYP in 2010.

--Miltona Elementary:

Making AYP in 2011 and 2010.

--Woodland Elementary:

Making AYP in 2011, not making AYP in 2010.

--Voyager Elementary:

Making AYP in 2011, not making AYP in 2010.

--Discovery Middle:

Not making AYP in 2011 or 2010.

--Jefferson High:

Making AYP in 2011 and 2010.

According to percentages prepared by administration, District 206 and each individual school met all No Child Left Behind AYP targets for all demographic groups in:

--Participation:

Target - 95 percent

District 206 math - 99.5 percent

District 206 reading - 99.75 percent

--Attendance:

Target - 90 percent

District 206 - 95.28 percent

--Graduation:

Target - 85 percent

District 206 - 98.92 percent

According to district leaders, District 206 students met AYP proficiency in 35 of 35 areas of reading and 34 of 35 areas of math.

AREA SCHOOLS

Other area schools also fared well on the proficiency tests:

--Brandon Public Schools:

Making AYP in both elementary and secondary schools.

--Evansville Public Schools:

Making AYP as a district, but Evansville secondary school did not make AYP for 2011 in reading proficiency.

--Osakis Public Schools:

Making AYP as a district, but Osakis elementary grades did not make AYP for 2010 or 2011 in reading proficiency.

AYP standards require school districts to work toward a goal of 100 percent of students passing state tests by 2014.

Follow Amy Chaffins on Twitter at @theosakisreview.

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Amy Chaffins
Amy Chaffins is a journalist working for the Echo Press newspaper. After graduating from St. Cloud State University, Amy’s first job was at KSAX-TV working as an anchor and reporter. From 2003-2010, Amy worked as an editor and reporter for the Pope County Tribune and Starbuck Times newspapers. During her journalism career, Amy earned writing and photography awards from the Associated Press, Minnesota Newspaper Association and Society of Professional Journalists. Amy and her husband, Brandon, live in Alexandria and together write “He Sez, She Sez,” a humor column in the local women’s magazine, Chicz
(320) 763-1242
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