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State reverses RHS's AYP status

By Staff
Jason Cannon, Franklin County Times
At Russellville High School, sometimes you have to take a little bad news with some of the good news.
However, this month the good news is that the bad news was overturned.
Early last month, Russellville High School was notified that the school didn't meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status for the first time since AYP reporting was instituted.
The 2007 AYP report measures how a school or school district is faring in meeting annual accountability goals mandated under No Child Left Behind.
School administrators balked at the August report and requested reconsideration. After supplying adequate information to the state board of education, the initial findings were reversed this month.
"What we found was that some of our students who graduated during the summer weren't counted and that some of our students who transferred were counted as drop-outs," Russellville Superintendent Dr. Wayne Ray said.
In the initial report, the school's graduation rate was listed at 83 percent because the state showed less graduates than the school actually had.
"This was great news," Ray added.
"We knew the original report couldn't be right. We've got great teachers who work hard, and our parents and our students work hard."
The school's graduation rate was the only thing keeping it from obtaining AYP status in the August report.
The good news wasn't isolated to only RHS. Both Russellville Elementary School and West Elementary School will be recognized for meeting at least one of the challenges set forth by the state.
The schools will be recognized at the State Board of Education's meeting, Sept. 13 and will receive a monetary award.
"There are five different categories that each school can meet or exceed," Ray said. "All we know is that each school has met or exceeded at least one of them, but they could have easily met or exceeded two, three, four of five. They won't tell us until the meeting."
Each of the five categories is assigned a monetary value and each school will be issued funds for each of the five categories they have met or exceeded.
Ray said the state hasn't revealed the dollar figure, but meeting just one of the categories could be worth several thousand dollars.
"The money is great, but the recognition is the best part," Ray said of being honored. "This shows just how good our teachers and our students are, especially the students. We've got some great teachers but the students are the ones that have to take these tests."