County scores near top

&uot;Overall Shelby County is doing very well.&uot;

That’s the assessment of Charlotte Draper, assistant superintendent of instruction for Shelby County Schools, following release of the state Department of Education’s Alabama Interim Accountability Summary Report for 2002-03.

&uot;I feel that the county is doing better than most. And when you look at us overall we have got schools performing in an excellent manner,&uot; she said.

&uot;We’ve got programs supporting the process of instruction and we are seeing great results from many of these students.&uot;

According to the state, Shelby County was one of the five top county school systems for writing scores.

Draper said systemwide in the fifth grade writing assessment, the schools were clear, which she said is &uot;an improvement from last year.&uot;

But

she

pointed out that one school is clear with watch, Vincent Elementary involves one subgroup on watch.

The state identified that subgroup as children receiving free and reduced lunch.

According to the state, Shelby County was the highest ranking county on the seventh grade writing exam.

Draper said in the direct

writing assessment for seventh grade, Shelby County was clear with watch.

&uot;Watch is a category we have to improve,&uot; she said.

She pointed out that one

subgroup at Thompson Middle School was only group on watch in seventh grade. The state identified that group as the special needs subgroup.

Also according to information from the state, Elvin Hill worked to improve from the watch status it received last year (for fifth grade writing assessment) and is now clear in that category.

&uot;We are so excited and we are very proud because we worked hard and it paid off. So, we could not be happier,&uot; said Elvin Hill principal Leah Anne Lowe.

She said last year only 8 percent of the students met the state standard for writing assessment in the fifth grade. This year, 41 percent made the standard.

&uot;So, our teachers and students worked hard to achieve that much growth in one year,&uot; Lowe said.

Draper said one point of contention with the state’s figures was the dropout rate for the county with emphasis on the Vincent district.

Draper also reported that the state figures for dropout rate for schools involves a formula which she said, &uot;We do not understand.&uot;

She said the state uses a percentage of students to enter the ninth grade and drop out that year but then increases the rate by using a ratio as a

percentage in the 12th grade.

The &uot;projection&uot; they figure &uot;is not accurate,&uot; Draper said.

&uot;We have not really been addressing the dropout rate because as far as we are concerned, our dropout rate is based on real numbers.&uot;

On that count, &uot;I think our county has improved&uot; with &uot;a lower percentage now than we’ve ever had,&uot; she said.

Draper said Shelby County as a whole is clear on the graduation exam with priority, which again she said means improvement has to continue.

She said Thompson High School is clear with watch and Vincent Middl/High is on watch for the graduation exam.

&uot;We do have remediation programs in place and programs of support in place to help students prepare and take these exams successfully,&uot; Draper said.

According to the state Department of Education, 96 percent

of Shelby County students did achieve standards.

While the state was on priority status on the graduation exam for special needs students, Shelby County was clear.

Priority Status for Shelby County was based on 79.58 percent of black students meeting standards.

The county missed being placed on watch by half a percent and missed achieving clear status by 10 percent.

Thompson High School was clear with watch based on the black student subgroup meeting standards at 87.5 percent instead of the required 90 percent to be clear.

Vincent High School was placed on watch with all the student subgroups meeting standards at 86.21 percent instead of the required 90 percent to be clear.

As a result, 4 percent of the students at Vincent High School need to make improvements in order to be clear, Draper said.

According to information provided by the state on the Stanford Achievement Test, Shelby County tied Madison County as the highest ranking county school system on the SAT.

Systemwide, Shelby County was clear with watch and priority.

Subgroups with need to improve include special education, black and Hispanic students, limited English proficient students and free and reduced lunch students.

Calera High School was clear with watch and priority.

Special education students were placed on priority (23 percent meeting standards; less than 30 percent).

Black students were placed on watch (39 percent meeting standards, less than 40 percent)

Free/Reduced Lunch students were placed on watch (38 percent meeting standards, less than 40

percent).

Calera Elementary School was clear with watch and priority.

Black students were placed on priority (29 percent meeting standards; less than 30 percent).

Free/reduced lunch students were placed on watch

(33 percent meeting standards; less than 40 percent).

Chelsea Middle School was clear with watch and priority.

The special needs subgroup was placed on priority (25 percent meeting standards, less than 30 percent).

The free/reduced lunch subgroup was placed on watch (37 percent meeting standards, less than 40

percent).

Chelsea Elementary School was clear with watch

Special needs was placed on watch

(37 percent meeting standards, less than 40 percent).

Columbiana Middle School was clear with watch and priority.

Special needs was placed on priority (14 percent meeting standards, less than 30 percent).

Black students were placed on watch (31 percent meeting standards, less than 40 percent).

Free/reduced lunch were (32 percent meeting standards, less than 40 percent).

Elvin Hill Elementary was clear with watch and priority.

Special education students was placed on priority (15 percent meeting standards, less than 30 percent).

Black students were placed on watch (33 percent meeting standards, less than 40 percent).

Free/reduced lunch students were placed on watch (38 percent meeting standards, less than 40 percent).

Helena Intermediate was clear with watch.

Special education students were placed on watch (39 percent meeting standards, less than 40 percent).

Montevallo Elementary was clear with watch and priority.

Special education was placed on priority

(18 percent meeting standards, less than 30 percent)

Black students were placed on watch (34 percent meeting standards, less than 40

percent)

Free/reduced lunch students were placed on watch (35 percent meeting standards, less than 40 percent).

Montevallo Middle School was clear with watch and priority.

Special education students were placed on priority (14 percent meeting standards, less than 30 percent).

Black students were placed on priority (29 percent meeting standards, less than 30 percent).

Free/reduced lunch were placed on watch (34 percent meeting standards, less than 40 percent).

Oak Mountain Middle School was clear with watch.

The special education subgroup was placed on watch (37 percent meeting standards, less than 40 percent).

Riverchase Middle School was clear with watch.

Special education students were placed on watch

(30 percent meeting standards, less than 40 percent).

Hispanic students were placed on watch (38

percent meeting standards, less than 40 percent).

Shelby Elementary School was clear with watch.

Free/reduced lunch were

(30 percent meeting standards, less than 40

percent)

Thompson Intermediate School was clear with watch

Special education students were placed on watch (31

percent meeting standards, less than 40 percent).

Black students were placed on watch (39 percent meeting standards, less than 40 percent).

Free/reduced lunch students were (30 percent meeting standards, less than 40 percent)

Thompson Middle School was clear with priority.

Special education students were placed on priority (24 percent meeting standards, less than 30 percent).

Valley Intermediate School was clear with watch.

Special education students were placed on watch (36 percent meeting standards, less than 40 percent).

Vincent Middle/High School was clear with watch and priority.

The special education subgroup was placed on priority (20 percent meeting standards, less than 30 percent)

Black students were placed on watch (33 percent meeting standards, less than 40 percent).

Free/reduced lunch students were placed on watch (35 percent meeting standards, less than 40 percent).

Vincent Elementary School was clear with watch and priority.

The special education subgroup was placed on priority (24 percent meeting standards, less than 30 percent).

The black subgroup was placed on watch (39 percent meeting standards, less than 40 percent).

The free/reduced lunch subgroup was placed on watch (39 percent meeting standards, less than 40 percent).

According to Draper, programs have already been put in place to help provide support and remediation in specific subgroups.

These programs are to help them improve and are showing improvement.

Examples include:

One-on-one tutoring for English as a second language and special needs students.

Plato (Computer Based Tutorial Program).

Math and Reading Initiatives.

Professional Development to help teachers understand how to analyze and disaggregate data and how to use that information to drive instruction.

Also according to the school system, only six school systems in the state got a clear for special education students which shows the bar is set high for these students in Shelby County