Calera Middle principal makes plans to address AYP concerns

Calera Middle School principal Brent Copes is already making plans to increase reading and math scores after the school failed to meet Adequate Yearly Progress goals this year.

Calera Middle was one of five schools that missed AYP under the No Child Left Behind program, along with Thompson High, Thompson Intermediate, Creek View Elementary and the Linda Nolen Learning Center.

Calera Middle missed AYP in reading and math proficiency for special education students. Copes said this is something school officials look to correct next year and have already started making plans.

“We’re going to take a look at certain students and see where we fell short and where we can help them achieve,” he said.

The school had 47 special education students this year. If a school has 40 or more students that fall into a subgroup such as special education students, the school is required to report AYP results for that subgroup. The program categorizes many different subgroups, including students in special education programs, students in racial minorities and students who receive free of reduced-price lunches.

“This is the first year we had over 40 in that subgroup,” Copes said. “We knew it would be a challenge when we started. We have seen overall scores move in a positive direction in both math and reading. But sometimes special education students just need a little longer to get to where they need to be.”

Next year the school will require all sixth graders to take two math classes, instead of one. Officials plan to move some teachers around so they can work with smaller groups of special education students, Copes said.

The school also plans to bring in consultants to help them meet their AYP goals for next year.

“We’re going to work with special education consultants to get feedback on areas we can do better. We’ll also have a consultant to help develop reading across all content areas,” Copes said.