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7 Chilton schools don’t make AYP

Seven Chilton County schools failed to make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in 2009-2010 while Jemison Elementary School, Jemison Intermediate School, Maplesville High School and Verbena High School met their goals.

AYP scores were released Monday, as Chilton County High School, Thorsby School, Clanton Elementary, Clanton Intermediate, Clanton Middle, Isabella High School and Jemison High School did not meet the required goals.

The annual reports look at reading scores, math scores, percentage of students taking standardized tests, attendance records and graduation rates.

Each school has goals for those items, including different goals for certain subgroups based on race and other socio-economic categories.

One school might have seven goals, while another might have 20 or more. It depends on the school’s size, grade levels and other criteria.

Schools also have to meet 100 percent of its goals to achieve AYP.

The county graduate rate is 86 percent. All six high schools made the graduation rate this past year.

Board of education school improvement specialist and professional development coordinator Karen Mitchell said the main issue for the Chilton County school system is reading for special needs students, which caused five out of the seven schools to not make AYP. JHS and CCHS failed to make it due to reading scores for all students.

Mitchell said county schools made AYP in the areas of math and Additional Academic Indicators but not reading. She also said the school system report mirrors that of the state’s entire accountability report in almost all categories and subgroups.

Currently, the county only has two schools on the school improvement list, Thorsby and CCHS, a statistic Mitchell said is positive when compared to surrounding areas. Schools who fail to make AYP two years in a row fall on to the improvement list and must meet their goals for two years to get off the list.

“We have a lot of work to do this year not to make it,” Mitchell said. “Everybody’s been working really hard. The goals get higher every year.”

Mitchell said special needs students are being asked to perform at the same rate as other students.

She said she is pleased to see JHS come out of school improvement, although the school did not make AYP this year. The school did meet its goals in the areas that previously sent them to improvement. If JHS fails to make it next year, they will once again begin year one of school improvement.

Reading scores for grades 3-8 are based on the Alabama Reading and Mathematics Test, along with parts of the Stanford 10, Mitchell said. For grade 11, it is the Alabama High School Graduation Exam reading portion. The scores are judged by the proficiency achieved by all students and then disaggregated by subgroups including special education, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Asian/Pacific Islander, Black, Hispanic, White, Limited English Proficiency and free and reduced lunch. One student may factor into several of the groups. If there are 40 students or more in a subgroup, that group counts towards AYP. If only one subgroup does not obtain proficiency, then the entire school fails to achieve AYP.

“We’re really proud Verbena made AYP this year,” Mitchell said, emphasizing VHS failed to make it last year.

The county finished 13 points higher for all students in math.

“Those numbers are very encouraging,” Mitchell said. “We will make this for many years to come because we are already achieving over what is required.”

Last year, Thorsby, CCHS and JHS were in school improvement. Both Thorsby and CCHS were in year one, and now they are in year two. The other schools that did not make AYP this year will need an additional year before they go into improvement.

For more information about Chilton County’s AYP scores, visit alsde.edu/Accountability/Accountability.asp