Tricounty News

District News: AYP = Ask Your Principal?

During a recent mentorship meeting with new staff members, one of our experienced teacher/mentors asked us if we new what AYP really stood for. He informed us it does not stand for "Adequate Yearly Progress", but instead "Ask Your Principal". We decided that would be a great title for an article that explains this thing called AYP. AYP really does stand for Adequate Yearly Progress and is the measure of each school and school district according to the federal legislation of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). All public schools in the state of Minnesota are required to measure student proficiency at identified grade levels on state assessments called Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA II). It is the results of these assessments in the areas of reading, math, and now science that determine if a school or school district makes adequate progress. Challenges facing schools Does the measure of proficiency provide an accurate picture of overall student performance? In a recent press release from the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) 937 schools were classified as not meeting AYP. The reason these schools did not make AYP vary from school to school because of the many different subcategories measured by MDE. The subcategories may include populations such as free and reduced lunch, special education, limited English proficiency, and ethnic   categories. In a district such as Kimball we are measured in 15 categories. Any one of these categories can place your school or district on the not meeting AYP list. How did Kimball perform? We are very pleased with the performance of Kimball students and teachers. Kimball Elementary School and Kimball High School met AYP in all 15 categories. Even though we are pleased with our performance, it does not mean we do not have work to do. Besides   individual school results MDE combines district scores. It is this combination of scores that identifies one subcategory as an area for improvement. While each school has met AYP the district has identified areas for improvement. It is these areas that will be the focal point for staff and administration for Kimball Public Schools. How can I get more information? While school districts review the data it is also possible for parents to look at more detailed information than just published proficiency scores. Each school has a published report card available on the MDE website. It is than possible to look at the performance of individual grade levels and subcategories. Should you be interested in looking at this information please visit the MDE site at cfl.state.mn.us/mde/index.html. Once on the site click on the report card link found on the right. Once there, you can look at achievement levels as well proficiency. You can also compare your school to other schools within the state of Minnesota. In summary Kimball Area Public Schools continue to make great strides in providing the best possible education for our students. There is a lot more to the AYP identification than a simple yes or no in the   paper. We take great lengths in   interpreting the data that is provided to make necessary educational changes. If you ever have questions on the MCA data please AYP (Ask Your Principal).