Note: This is the story about AYP that will appear in Wednesday’s paper. Reporter Zoe Fraley wrote this story.
CORRECTED: two Bellingham elementary schools – Geneva and Roosevelt – were inadvertently left off the list of schools not making AYP. It has been corrected below.
Ferndale and Lynden school districts have joined Bellingham on the “in improvement” list after failing to meet federal and state standards.
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction released the preliminary list of schools failing to meet standards during the 2009-10 school year on Tuesday morning, Aug. 31. In Whatcom County, 26 schools and all seven school districts didn’t meet standard.
According to the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, schools and districts must make “Adequate Yearly Progress” and show they are working to make sure all students are at standard by 2014. AYP tracks a school and district’s progress in reaching that goal.
In Washington, AYP is determined by looking at a combination of High School Proficiency Exam and Measurements of Student Progress scores, graduation rates and attendance records. In all, schools and districts must meet standards in 37 categories.
If schools or districts fail to meet standard in the same category for two or more years in a row, they are considered “in improvement” and face possible sanctions. In Whatcom County, 32 schools and three school districts are on the “in improvement” list this year. Bellingham is in “step two,” while Ferndale and Lynden districts are in “step one.” For a district to be “in improvement,” the same category of students in the same subject in all three school levels must fail to make AYP two years in a row.
Throughout the state, 986 schools didn’t make AYP, down by 317 schools from 2009. Across the state 1,129 schools are “in improvement.” For districts, 212 didn’t make AYP, which is three more than last year, and 110 districts are “in improvement.”
According to the law, schools face sanctions, including voluntary student transfers, supplemental education services and school reorganization, depending on how long they’re on the “in improvement” list.
The only schools facing sanctions in Whatcom County are those on the “in improvement” list that also receive federal Title 1 funding for large low-income populations: Alderwood, Birchwood, Blaine, Central, Custer, Eagleridge, Everson, Kendall and Mountain View elementary schools; Lynden Middle School and Mount Baker Junior High.
Blaine, Central, Mountain View and Everson elementary schools are all new to “step one,” which means it’s their first year on the “in improvement” list. They are required to notify parents, allow voluntary student transfers to another school within the district not on the list, if available, and create a new school improvement plan.
Most of the other schools on the “in improvement” list are in step two or three this year, which means it’s their second year or third year on the list. They are required to continue the work from “step one” and offer supplemental services to low-income students, usually in the form of tutoring.
Lummi Tribal Elementary School and Shuksan Middle School are both in “step five,” the last step on the “in improvement” list. Lummi doesn’t face sanctions because it’s a tribal school, and Shuksan doesn’t because it doesn’t receive Title 1 funding.
For the first year since 2007, a few middle schools in Whatcom County made AYP. Fairhaven, Vista and Blaine middle schools made AYP, though they are still in “step two” in improvement, and each must make AYP again to get out of that category.
The following Whatcom County schools did not make “Adequate Yearly Progress,” as outlined in the No Child Left Behind Act.
Bellingham: Alderwood, Geneva, Northern Heights and Roosevelt elementary schools; Kulshan, Shuksan and Whatcom middle schools; and Bellingham, Sehome, Squalicum and Options high schools.
Blaine: Blaine Elementary and Blaine High School.
Ferndale: Central, Eagleridge, Mountain View and Lummi Tribal elementary schools; Horizon Middle School; Ferndale High School.
Lynden: Lynden Middle School and Lynden High School.
Meridian: Meridian Middle School and Meridian High School.
Mount Baker: Harmony and Kendall elementary schools; Mount Baker Junior High.
Nooksack: Everson Elementary; Nooksack Valley Middle School.