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December 09 2010

Sch’dy H.S. is named to state’s low achieving list
Restructuring efforts to boost achievement are underway

The New York State Education Department today announced the list of schools which have been identified as Persistently Lowest-Achieving (PLA).  Schenectady High School has been identified as a PLA and School Under Registration Review (SURR) because in 2009-2010, the group of All Students performed below the benchmark index in both English language arts and mathematics. 

In order for a school to be identified as persistently lowest-achieving, a school had to: 

  • be a school in the Restructuring phase of New York’s Differentiated Accountability System;
     

  • have for 2009-2010 school year results an average Performance Index for the All Students group in English language arts and mathematics of 167 or less;
     

  • have failed to make at least a 25 point gain on each ELA  and mathematics measure for which the school was accountable between 2008-2009 and 2009-2010;
     

  • have a graduation rate below 60 percent for the All Students group on its 2003, 2004 and 2005 graduation rate cohort.

Schenectady High School’s Performance Index was 152, falling below the baseline index of 167 in ELA and mathematics. 

“This announcement is not a surprise to us,” said John Yagielski, superintendent of schools.  “We were aware that the high school had not made adequate progress and that this is the next accountability status.  There was no question.” 

Schenectady High School is currently being restructured due to low Regents test scores over the last six years.  Any school in restructuring status not making AYP for two consecutive years in the content area identified, moves to the next status.  “We didn’t make AYP over the last six years and just began advanced restructuring so it was quite obvious that we would be identified,” said Yagielski. 

Below is a six year chart of the year to year status of Schenectady High School: 

School Year
Status

ELA
Groups that Made AYP

Mathematics
Groups that Made AYP

2008-2009
Restructuring Comprehensive
ELA & Math

White

Asian/Native Hawaiian

White

Asian/Native Hawaiian

2007-2008
School Requiring Academic Progress Year 5
ELA & Maht

White
Asian/Native Hawaiian

All Students
White

Asian/Naïve Hawaiian
Economically Disadvantaged

2006-2007
School Requiring Academic Progress Year 4
ELA & Math

All Students
White
Asian/ Native Hawaiian
Hispanic/Latino

All Students
White
Black/African American
Asian/Native Hawaiian
Economically Disadvantaged

2005-2006
School Requiring Academic Progress Year 3

ELA & Math

All Students
White
Black/African American
Asian/Native Hawaiian

All Students
White
Black/African American
Asian/Native Hawaiian
Hispanic/Latino
Economically Disadvantaged

2004-2005
School Requiring Academic Progress Year 2
ELA & Math

White

All Students
White

2003-2004
School Requiring Academic Progress Year 1

 

 

Yagielski said he believes that many of the changes implemented at Schenectady High School this year will impact student achievement.   “We won’t see all of the results overnight,” said Yagielski.   “But, we are already seeing positive signs of progress.”

The restructuring plan in place provides targeted programming, challenging curriculum, enhanced resources and tools and climate change.  It reflects changes to the organization, structure, curriculum, instruction and services available.  “We know we have a good plan in place,” said Yagielski.  “We have stepped up our efforts and expect all of our students to reach their academic potential.” 

Among the new programs at Schenectady High School is a 9th Grade Academy, 10th Grade Preparation Program, Career and Leadership Academy for 9th and 10th graders, and a community mentor program.  A long list of strategies and program changes has also been implemented as part of the new plan. 

“We are putting a lot of energy and resources in to the freshmen and those students who aren’t successful as 9th and 10th  graders,” said Yagielski.  “These are the students who are most at-risk of not doing well academically and potentially not graduating.  It makes sense to focus a great part of our efforts on these students.”   

As a SURR/PLA, Schenectady High School  is required to select one of the four intervention models and submit an intervention plan to the Commissioner of Education. 

The four intervention models are:
 

  • Turnaround Model – Redesign or replace the school

     

  • Restart Model – Convert the school to a charter school

     

  • Transformation Model – School does not close but remains as identified as persistently lowest achieving until it demonstrates improved academic results.
     

  • School Closure – Close the school and transfer students to higher performing schools in the district

“We will review what we are doing, revise our plan as needed and continue to evaluate as we move along,” said Yagielski. 

Additionally, as a PLA school, Schenectady High School is eligible for a School Improvement Grant between $500,000 and $2 million.  Yagielski said the district will be submitting an application for the funding. 

 

Link to NYSED Press Release:  http://www.oms.nysed.gov/press/
PersistentlyLowestAchievingAndSURRDec2010.html

 

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