Ten local schools meet AYP standards

By Staff
Kim West
Ten of 12 city and county schools in Franklin County received positive reports cards Monday when the Alabama Department of Education released its fifth Annual Yearly Progress report for all public schools in the state.
The Franklin County and Russellville City school systems both achieved AYP status for 2008. Seven Franklin County schools – Belgreen High School, East Franklin Junior High School, Phil Campbell Elementary, Red Bay High School, Tharptown Elementary School, Tharptown High School and Vina High School – met 100 percent of their AYP goals. Three city schools – Russellville Elementary, West Elementary and Russellville Middle School – also reached or exceeded AYP standards.
"We couldn't be prouder of our elementary schools and middle school," said Dr. Wayne Ray, superintendent of Russellville City Schools. "That's not to say we're not proud of the high school, but it faces different obstacles than those schools."
The city's Russellville High School the the county's Phil Campbell High School met 12 of their 13 AYP goals, but both schools must meet every goal next year to avoid being placed on the state's school improvement list.
"The benchmark was 86 percent of the free and reduced group in the eleventh grade, and we had 76 percent (at RHS)," Ray said. "We're going to look at every one of those kids who didn't meet it, and we're going to really analyze and address it every way we can.
"System-wide we are not in school improvement, and we're fine everywhere else academically. What we're going to have to do is make this up next year, or the high school will be in school improvement. Then you have to make AYP two consecutive years to get out of it, and that's the last thing we want."
AYP status for Alabama schools and school systems is determined by three factors – participation rate, annual objectives in reading and mathematics and additional academic indicators. All schools and school systems are required to reach 100 percent of their goals to receive AYP status.
"We just have to get our graduate rate up to 90 percent (from 76 percent for the 2006-07 school year)," Phil Campbell principal William Smith said. "The problem we've had is very few people who have dropped out had been attending Phil Campbell their entire school career..
"The state GED program is a good program as far as helping students, but I would like to encourage the state to raise the dropout age to 18, which would give it some teeth and encourage students not to drop out."
Smith said the school offered a program last year to help students recover credits and graduate.
"Credit Recovery was a new program last year," Smith said. "If students failed a subject, they could recover some of their courses by credit recovery. We also offer summer school, and Dr. Susan Hargett at Belgreen has gotten a grant to help tutor students in the county who really want help."
Depending on the student population, a school must meet a minimum of five goals to as many as 37 goals. The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) requires schools and school systems to meet annual goals in the academic achievement of the overall student population and by student groups, including economic background, race/ethnicity, limited English proficiency and special education.
For the 2006-07 year, every county and city school in Franklin County made AYP. Only two county schools missed two of their AYP goals and every city school made adequate progress in 2005-06.
This year, more than 83 percent of Alabama's 1,367 schools achieved AYP status. Of the 227 schools that didn't make AYP, 66 percent missed by one goal. Only 23 percent of state schools met all their yearly progress goals in 2004, which was the first year for AYP progress reports. In 2007, the number rose to 82 percent.
To view AYP information, visit the state's accountability reporting page at www.alsde.edu.

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