July is a time for fresh strawberries, sweet corn, fireworks and consolidated applications. Thanks to all of you who have made the July 1, 2012 deadline. The title team is diligently reading through your applications and moving them through the approval process as expeditiously as possible.
As of the writing of this column the flexibility waiver has not yet been approved. In anticipation of its approval I have included some of the definitions of terms you will be hearing in hopefully, the near future.
CLASSIFICATION OF SCHOOLS
Under the proposed accountability model, there would be five classifications of schools that determine recognition or support.
•Exemplary Schools: Exemplary Schools include both 1) high-performing schools whose Overall Score on the School Performance Index is at or above the top 5% 2) high-progress schools that rank in the top 5% for improvement of Student Achievement and Attendance rate for their GAP group (elementary and middle school levels); and Student Achievement and Graduation rate for their GAP group (high school level) over a period of two years. All public schools are eligible for this classification.
• Status Schools: Schools whose total score on the SPI is at or above the top 10 percent.
• Progressing Schools: Schools whose total score on the SPI is greater than the bottom 5% but are less than the top 10%.
• Focus Schools: Focus Schools are those that are contributing to the achievement gap in the state. The calculation to determine Focus Schools looks specifically at Student Achievement and Attendance rate of the GAP group at the elementary and middle school levels; and Student Achievement and Graduation rate of the GAP group at the high school level. The Focus School classification applies to Title I schools. The total number of Focus Schools must equal at least 10 percent of the Title I schools in South Dakota. Title I high schools whose graduation rate is below 60% for two consecutive years and that have not been identified as Priority Schools also will be identified as Focus Schools.
• Priority Schools: Schools whose total score on the SPI is at or below the bottom 5%. The total number of Priority Schools must be at least five percent of the Title I schools in the state. Each district with one or more of these schools must implement, for three years, meaningful interventions aligned with the turnaround principles. This classification applies to Title I schools and Title I eligible high schools whose graduation rate is below 60% for two consecutive years. Tier I and II SIG schools are included in this classification.
Have a wonderful and safe 4th of July!
Dr. Kristine Harms, EdD.
State Title I Director