Shelby County system makes progress

By KATHLEEN JOHNSTON

Accountability reports released by the State Department of Education this morning cleared the Shelby County School District and seven of its schools from its School Improvement status.

“We’ve made some huge achievements in making AYP [Adequate Yearly Progress] and getting the system out of School Improvement,” said Elisabeth Davis, the system’s school improvement specialist. Schools must make AYP for two years to move out of School Improvement.

Schools not making AYP this year were Calera, Chelsea, Montevallo and Vincent high schools and the Linda Nolen Learning Center. All schools met reading and math requirements but faltered in the additional academic initiative category, which looks at graduation percentages.

“Graduation rate is the issue we’re looking at,” Davis said.

To pass, schools must meet the state graduation goal of 90 percent or show improvement over the previous year’s rate.

Calera High fell the most, dropping almost six points to 82.76 percent. Vincent High posted the lowest graduation rate at just above 76 percent. Montevallo enters its first year of School Improvement as this is its second-consecutive year not to make AYP.

Davis said the system plans to respond by writing improvement goals, creating leadership teams and holding monthly meetings to monitor progress. It will also offer additional resources and look at programs to transition students through elementary, middle and high school.

Davis also said certain monitoring steps extend to the entire system.

“We have a continual school improvement model that we are using with every school in our system, whether they made AYP or not,” Davis said. “We know that if we don’t improve, we’ll take a step back.”

The seven schools moving out of School Improvement are Creek View Elementary, Thompson Intermediate, Columbiana Middle, Montevallo Middle, Oak Mountain Middle, Riverchase Middle and Thompson Middle.

County schools in the Hoover City system met 100 percent of their AYP goals, according to the report