State Superintendent Randy Dorn released a list of schools that will receive additional funding and support to help them meet the needs of all their students.
This includes Central Elementary in Hoquiam, McCleary Elementary, North Beach Junior High, Oakville High School, and Taholah Elementary & Middle School.
All of these schools are listed as Priority Schools, among the lowest 5% of schools in the state for assessments in Reading and Math over three years.
In the lowest 10% and listed as Focus Schools are Harbor High, Miller Junior High, McDermoth, and Robert Gray in Aberdeen, Hoquiam Middle School, as well as Montesano High School.
These designations were developed as part of Washington’s waiver that provided relief from some requirements of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
The U.S. Department of Education notified Washington on April 24 that its waiver will not be extended into the 2014–15 school year. However, OSPI will continue to identify schools for support.
“The way we have been identifying high-needs schools with our waiver is more valid than using Adequate Yearly Progress,” Dorn said, referring to the accountability process to which the state must return under ESEA.
“With the waiver, we were able to use three years of data, said Dorn. “AYP reflects just one. Although we don’t have the waiver for 2014–15, we will use a blended model that incorporates both of these methodologies.”
The state’s highest-needs schools are now identified as either priority or focus.
Priority schools show that fewer than 40% of students perform at grade level on state tests in reading and math, have a five-year graduation rate of less than 60% for the past three years, are among the lowest-performing schools based on Achievement Index, are a current priority school, or have scored in the lowest 5% on state reading and math tests for the past three years.
Focus schools are identified based on one or more subgroups: A five-year graduation rate of less than 60% for three years, among the lowest 10% on state tests in reading and math combined, or are a current focus school.
All priority and focus schools will receive either federal or state funds to help them with their action plans for improvement.
A total of 284 schools were identified as priority or focus out of an estimated 1,800 eligible schools.