High school takes corrective action
Sept. 17, 2013 — Corrective action will be taken for Lassen High School who is now in program improvement year three due to not meeting a portion of the federal Adequate Yearly Progress.
According to Lassen High School Principal Robbin Pedrett, the district did not pass the annual measurable objective on the English portion of the California High School Exit Exam, which is factored into the Adequate Yearly Progress.
The target for English Language Arts was set at 88.9 percent of students scoring proficient, but Lassen scored 58.3 percent proficient.
In 2012, it was at 58.6 percent.
Pedrett said, “All we had to do was get to 60 and we would have hit the Annual Measurable Objective in English …”
When one really looks at the data, Pedrett said it’s really about a lot of writing.
“That’s what I’m learning is our writing scores and our writing is not as strong as it needs to be,” she said.
Pedrett provided an overview of the annual progress report during a Tuesday, Sept. 10 meeting of the Lassen Union High School District Board of Trustees.
Lassen Union High School District will be sanctioned by the state education agency through the Lassen County Office of Education, which will work as an arm of the state.
The state education agency will invoke at least one federal sanction from a list which includes deferring programmatic funds or reducing administrative funds, instituting new curriculum and professional development for staff, replacing staff, removing individual schools from the jurisdiction of the district and arranging for governance, appointing a trustee in place of the superintendent and school board and abolishing or restructuring the district.
In conjunction with one of the above, the state may authorize student transfers to a school not in program improvement to another local education agency with paid transportation.
The high school district will be notified within 45 days of what the state decides.
In addition, the state dictates the district select at least one corrective action from a list that includes replacing the staff relevant to the failure of making adequate yearly progress, instituting and fully implementing a new curriculum based on scientific research and offers substantial promise of improving educational achievement for low-achieving students and providing staff with scientific research-based professional development.
Lassen Union High School District Superintendent Roy Casey explained the state is sanctioning the district but the district will sanction Lassen High School.
According to Casey, the district will choose the least invasive and most corrective, which is curriculum and professional development.
Casey explained he has been at schools where the most drastic measures have been taken and an entire staff has been eliminated. In one model everyone is gone, in a second model, staff can reapply but only 50 percent can be hired back.
“I don’t anticipate that we go there,” he said and explained schools in Las Vegas, Nev. applied those methods and found it to be miserable and unsuccessful.
The district did pass the California High School Exit Exam math portion at 63.2 percent and hit 789 on the state Academic Performance Index, exceeding the target goal of 742.
Lassen’s graduation rate was 95.65 percent over the target of 84.77 percent.
Both the Academic Performance Index and the graduation rate are factors in determining the Adequate Yearly Progress.
Casey said, “… It’s not like we’re on the list of just super, super poor performing schools. We’re not there at all.”
According to Pedrett, staff will start notifying parents regarding the adequate yearly progress.
The district will also put together a district leadership team who will work on a reform plan and then revisit professional development that will move forward for the school site council’s review and look at the curriculums for math and English to meet the demands of the California High School Exit Exam.
Last year staff was looking at the problem possibly being related to State Standardized Testing and Reporting, according to Pedrett.
“But I think we kind of got in the forest and missed the trees. We didn’t look at (the California High School Exit Exam). We’re really going to get excited about that test this year and see if we can find something we missed,” she said.
Board trustee Dr. Hal Meadows asked how the district rates with similar schools.
Pedrett answered that Lassen High sits right in the middle of schools similar to its size and demographics.
Casey said, in preliminary conversations about sanctions, staff has talked about visiting some of those high-achieving schools with similar demographics in addition to focusing on curriculum and staff development.
“We will be arranging some field trips, very focused field trips not just to look and watch. We will actually ask schools to invite us with the focus of looking at different curricular areas,” Casey said.
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