Friday, October 14, 2011

School Choice Letters

All Sioux Trail families recently received (or will soon receive) a letter from ISD 191 regarding the AYP status of Sioux Trail.  Here is the most important message: Sioux Trail is MAKING Adequately Yearly Progress!

Adequate Yearly Progress is part of the No Child Left Behind legislation (the Re-Authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act) that was put in place by George W Bush.  The legislation sets targets that schools must meet on an annual basis and consequences if schools do not achieve the target.  The end goal is that 100% of students are proficient (according to the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments) by 2013-14.

The AYP system evaluates multiple areas within reading and math including: all students, ESL students, Special Education students and five different ethnic subgroups.  The process evaluates participation and proficiency on the assessment and attendance at the school.  At the end of the 2008-09 school year Sioux Trail was found to not be making AYP in six different areas within the proficiency area. At the end of the 2009-10 school year Sioux Trail demonstrated progress and was found to not be making AYP in one area; Reading for Special Education students.  Based on 2010-11 Minnesota Accountability Tests Sioux Trail is making AYP in ALL areas.

This is terrific news for Sioux Trail and recognizes the hard work of Sioux Trail staff, students and parents.  Despite making AYP in all areas Sioux Trail remains on the Not Making AYP List because the process requires schools to make AYP two years in a row before being removed from the list.  Sioux Trail is in stage 1.2  meaning that Sioux Trail parents have school choice and can take their children to another ISD 191 school choice site.  Sioux Trail families will have more information on this soon.

Being identified as "Making Adequately Yearly Progress" by the Minnesota Department of Education doesn't stop our continued hard work towards moving each student forward and providing high quality instruction that facilitates personal and academic growth.   We have a lot of very important work to do and Sioux Trail staff are the right team to do this work.

The "School Choice letter that was included in the letter indicates that parents can choose to send their child to another ISD 191 school.  These two "choice" schools are Rahn and Gideon Pond Elementary Schools. The letter provides information on the overall percentage of students that are proficient on the Minnesota Accountability Tests, but it does not include Sioux Trail on this chart.  This is misleading, because it creates the perception that we are a lower performing school and this in not entirely true.  I have included a more inclusive chart below.

Reading Percent Proficient
Math Percent Proficient
Gideon Pond
Sioux Trail

As you can see we our performance in the area of reading is stronger than math and we are working hard to raise scores in both areas and keep  each one of our students moving forward.  We are committed to increased student success and to meeting the needs of each child.

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