Unlucky 13 Peninsula schools don’t meet standards for progress

Thirteen North Olympic Peninsula public schools — nine of them in Clallam County — did not meet the state standards for Adequate Yearly Progress for the 2009-2010 school year, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction said Tuesday as it announced annual test results.

Neah Bay Junior and Senior High School — which is evaluated as one school — is in danger of major restructuring after not passing AYP requirements for the past five years, moving it into Step 4 of the sanctions.

Also not meeting Adequate Yearly Progress, or AYP, standards in Clallam County in the last school year are Port Angeles High School, four Quillayute Valley School District schools — including the statewide Insight School of Washington — and three Sequim schools.

The federal AYP standard is measured by state tests and graduation rates. The tests are given to students in third through eighth grades and in 10th grade.

The name of the annual assessments was changed in 2009 year to the Measurements of Student Progress test from the Washington Assessment of Student Achievement, and the test itself was changed.

Schools that do not meet improvement goals are placed on this list, even if they miss only one out of 37 possible goals.

Schools must meets standards for two consecutive years to get off the “needs improvement” list. So Stevens Middle School in Port Angeles and Graywolf Elementary School in Sequim remained on the list despite the fact that they met stands for the 2009-10 school year.

Port Townsend High School and all three Chimacum schools are at “Step 2” in the process, which means they have failed to meet federal improvement standards for three years.

Each “step” comes with a different set of requirements, but the requirements apply only to schools who are receiving funding through the federal Title I program.

Port Angeles

Port Angeles High School did not meet AYP for the third year in a row so was moved to Step 2, but does not receive Title I funding, so it is not subject to restrictions.

Districtwide, more than 51 percent of students passed all areas of the state tests except for 10th grade math which had 41 percent passing and fifth grade science with 33.2 percent passing. Passage of the science test is not required for graduation.

“We’re pleased because we met 52 out of the 57 required categories,” said Port Angeles Superintendant Jane Pryne.

“We’re pleased especially because this is a brand new test.

“We weren’t sure how we were going to do because we hadn’t yet taken this test.”

Stevens Middle School — which was placed as not passing AYP in 2008-2009 — met the standards this year.

“It is ironic that Stevens is on the list because they are higher than nearly everywhere else in the state,” Pryne said.

“We continue to work with our students and we continue to look at curriculum and we keep striving for all students to pass the test.”

Neah Bay

Neah Bay Superintendent Kandy Ritter said the district will be required to write a plan which includes one of three choices: reorganizing staff and administration, entering into a contract with an outside agency to give guidance to the school or other restructuring activities such as training in new instructional approaches.

She said the district has not yet decided which option it will choose.

“We were, of course, optimistic that our test scores would come in a little higher so we wouldn’t move into Step 4,” she said.

“But we are now looking at it as an opportunity to improve the academic program for our students with further guidance from the district and state levels.”

District wide, Cape Flattery School District hit a high note with 93.1 percent of 10th grade students passing reading and had the lowest score in eighth grade math with 25.6 percent of students passing.

In Clallam County, Neah Bay is at “Step 4,” which has far more stringent requirements than “Step 2.”

Forks schools

All four schools at Quillayute Valley School District continued to be listed as not passing AYP.

Forks High School, Forks Middle School and the Insight School of Washington — the district’s online high school — were all at Step 2 and Forks Middle School moved in to Step 3, which will require it to look at new curriculum, as a Title I funded school.

Quillayute Valley School District Superintendent Diana Reaume said that although the district didn’t achieve as much as she had hoped, improvements have been made.

“We have made improvements in all the sub-populations of our targeted groups with the exception of our Hispanic students,” Reaume said.

“We have put a lot of resources into adopting a new curriculum and working with grade level teams supporting the teachers.

She said that the district is still evaluating the data but plans on appealing the scores in several categories.

Throughout the district,74 percent of 10th graders passed the reading, with the lowest scores in sixth grade math with 27 percent passing.

Sequim schools

Sequim Community School is on Step 2, Sequim Middle School is at Step 3 and Sequim Senior High is at Step 2.

Because none of the schools except Greywolf are Title I funded, the sanctions do not apply to them, Superintendent Bill Bentley said.

Districtwide, more than 60 percent of students passed reading at every level with the most being in 10th grade with 85.9 percent passing.

Math scores in Sequim were mixed, with the least passing being in 10th grade math with 40.1 percent and the most in third grade with 67.4 percent.

Bentley said Sequim may appeal several categories.

“We really want to make a concerted effort to see our scores in prove in math and it is a little frustrating when they don’t move in the way we’d like, but they are very comparable to what is happening across the state,” he said.

Crescent

Crescent School District had about 89 percent of 10th grades passing the reading portion of the test and exactly half passed the math portion.

The lowest percentage of the required tests was in sixth grade math where 16.7 percent of students passed math.

In fifth grade science, only 7.1 percent of students passed the test, but it is not yet a required test to pass.

Jefferson County

Although Port Townsend High School reached Step 2, it is not subject to sanctions because of a lack of Title I funding.

In Port Townsend more than 59 percent of students at every level passed reading, with 90 percent passing in the 10th grade.

The highest percentage of students passing math was 64.3 percent, while most scores were in the 40 to 50 percent range.

Although all three Chimacum schools are at Step 2, only the elementary school receives Title I funding.

It must now offer parents the choice to go to a public school which does meet AYP requirements and offer free tutoring services to students who wish.

Quilcene School District’s high point was fourth grade math with 85.7 percent passing.

The lowest score for the district was 12.5 percent of students passing math in 10th grade.

Brinnon School District scores are not publicly released by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction because there are not enough students at each level to maintain student privacy.

For more information, see the OSPI website at www.k12.wa.us.

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Reporter Paige Dickerson can be reached at 360-417-3535 or at paige.dickerson@peninsuladailynews.com.

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