V.I. school districts fail to meet AYP standards Schools that met AYP Schools that did not meet AYP Identified for improvement*


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ST. THOMAS - Neither of the territory's school districts met federal standards for educational progress within the public schools this year, according to the V.I. Education Department.

Of the territory's 31 public schools, 17 schools individually met standards, including 16 elementary schools and one high school - Charlotte Amalie High School.

Of the 13 schools that did not hit the mark, five were elementary schools and three were high schools. Not one middle or junior high school met Adequate Yearly Progress, or AYP, standards.

Adequate Yearly Progress is a measurement defined by the federal No Child Left Behind Act that allows the U.S. Education Department to determine how public schools perform academically according to results on standardized tests.

This year's assessment of the territory's performance shows an increase in the number of schools that achieved AYP, from 13 schools meeting AYP in the 2011-2012 report to 17 in the most recent report, from the 2012-2013 school year.

Additionally, the list of schools "identified for improvement" has one less school, Lockhart Elementary School on St. Thomas, according to V.I. Education spokeswoman Ananta Pancham.

However, 16 schools have remained on the "identified for improvement" list from one to six years.

The scores reflected in AYP reports are compiled from the V.I. Territorial Assessment of Learning exam, which has two versions, one of which is set up for special needs students.

The reports look at the reading and math proficiency - based on standardized test scores - of students in the third through eighth grades, as well as those in the 11th grade. Additionally, the reports take into account the percentage of students taking the exams and high school graduation rates.

Among the findings of the most recent AYP report:

- In elementary schools overall within the territory, reading scores rose from 47.1 percent to 48.5 percent proficiency among third- through eighth-graders. Math scores for the same student demographic rose from 56.2 percent to 56.4 percent.

- Students with limited English proficiency in the third through eighth grades raised their proficiency rates in reading from 18.6 percent during the 2011-2012 school year to 25.9 percent this year. Math scores for the same students rose from 36.5 percent to 43.2 percent.

- Students with disabilities in the third through eighth grades saw less improvement, as their reading proficiency rate rose from 16.8 percent to 16.9 percent for the same time period, and their math proficiency rate dropped from 26.1 percent to 25.9 percent.

- Reading and math scores for 11th-graders across the territory dropped. Reading proficiency was down from 37.5 percent during the 2011-2012 school year to 35.9 percent this year, and math scores fell from 49.9 percent during the 2011-2012 school year to 46.4 percent for the 2012-1013 school year.

- Students with disabilities in 11th grade saw an increase in their reading proficiency rate, from 11.6 percent in the 2011-2012 school year to 22.2 percent. Math scores for the same group of students went up slightly from 17.4 percent to 18.5 percent.

- In math, 11th-grade students with limited English proficiency improved their proficiency rate from 13.3 percent to 42.1 percent.

The same demographic improved their reading proficiency rate, raising it from 16.7 percent during the 2011-2012 school year to 21.1 percent for the 2012-2013 school year.

Neither district has ever met AYP standards, according to Randolph Thomas, the V.I. Education Department director of planning, research and evaluation.

"Districts seldomly meet AYP," he said.

Thomas said that the progress that the districts are making is a step in the right direction, though they likely will need to step up the teacher training and student learning programs.

With a territorial education department strapped for finances, the task of meeting federal standards may take a long time, according to a statement Education Commissioner Donna Frett-Gregory issued Thursday.

"Candidly, it is going to take time for our scores to jump more than what we're seeing now - but, our department is committed to providing as much support as needed, and is also looking at how to align our federal and local dollars in an effort to boost professional development and training, along with our student intervention programs," she said.

The district already has several programs in place to catalyze the districts' improvement, according to Frett-Gregory.

At the district level, Education officials have been implementing a number of intervention programs, including online comprehension programs in reading and math, she said.

Additionally, the districts are switching to an online assessment program that is aligned with Common Core Standards, a national initiative to standardize the curriculum from kindergarten through 12th grade in schools across the country, Frett-Gregory said.

"Facing these realities, it is clear that all hands must be on deck in order for our students to succeed," she said.

- Contact Jenny Kane at 714-9102 or email jkane@dailynews.vi.

St. Thomas-St. John

Leonard Dober

Joseph Sibilly

Lockhart

Ulla F. Muller

Jane E. Tuitt

Gladys A. Abraham

E. Benjamin Oliver

Guy Benjamin

Julius Sprauve

Charlotte Amalie High School

St. Croix

Eulalie Rivera

Lew Muckle

Alexander Henderson

Pearl B. Larsen

Alfredo Andrews

Evelyn M. Williams

Ricardo A. Richards

St. Thomas-St. John elementary schools

Joseph Gomez

Yvonne Bowsky

St. Croix elementary schools

Juanita Gardine

Charles H. Emanuel

Claude O. Markoe

St. Thomas-St. John middle schools

Bertha C. Boschulte Middle

Addelita Cancryn Junior High

St. Croix middle schools

John H. Woodson Junior High

Arthur A. Richards Junior High

Elena L. Christian Junior High

St. Thomas-St. John high schools

Ivanna Eudora Kean High

St. Croix high schools

St. Croix Central

St. Croix Educational Complex

St. Thomas-St. John

Joseph Gomez (2)

Yvonne Bowsky (1)

Julius E. Sprauve (5)

Bertha Boschulte Middle School (6)

Addelita Cancryn Junior High (6)

Ivanna Eudora Kean (4)

St. Croix

Juanita Gardine (6)

Charles Emanuel (6)

Eulalie Rivera (5)

Claude O. Markoe (6)

Alexander Henderson (6)

John H. Woodson Junior High (6)

Arthur A. Richards Junior High (6)

Elena L. Christian Junior High (6)

St. Croix Central High School (6)

St. Croix Educational Complex (5)

* Numbers in parenthesis indicate how many years the school has been on the list.

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