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School district to discuss state progress results

Jim Gilbert was thrilled last year with the progress the Newton Community School District students made in the Adequate Yearly Progress report issued by the state.

Gilbert, the district’s associate director of Elementary Education Services, will update the NCSD board of education on Monday with AYP results from the 2013-2014 school year.

AYP is a metric used by the Iowa Department of Education to track schools and districts compliance with the No Child Left Behind Act. Results for AYP are based on student performance during the Iowa Assessments.

Schools performances are graded via several Annual Measurable Objectives, or AMO, which score children in math and reading, who are in the third through eighth or 11th grades.

AMO terms include:

• MET, which is how a school met the trajectory.

• Watch List, a school that didn’t meet the trajectory for one year.

• SINA, which stands for a school in need of assistance. A SINA is a school that hasn’t met the trajectory for two consecutive years. This is also includes different levels of SINA, for example, a SINA-1 school hasn’t met the trajectory in three years.

• Delay, a school that goes back and forth between meeting and not meeting trajectories through the years, and, like SINA, this measure can also have a number added to the end.

• REM is a school removed from the watch list. It takes two consecutive years of meeting trajectories to be removed from the list.

• DINA, a district in need of assistance, which happens if a district doesn’t meet the state’s AYP participation goals or AMO in either the all students group or any one of the subgroups within the required grade spans in the testing subject area for two consecutive years. Also, when a district does not meet the goals for district level K-8 average daily attendance rates and high school graduation rates for two consecutive years; it can be identified as a district in need of assistance.

During a May board meeting, Gilbert revealed the district’s preliminary assessment results, and based on those, he said none of the grade levels met the 100 percent proficient mark NCLB made a requirement for SY 14. If those results hold true, several schools in the district could be moved into the SINA category, or if a school is already on the list, it could be moved into a higher level of SINA.

“We reached probably a statistical impossibility,” Gilbert said in May. “What we’re focused on is, you know what? How much did our kids grow? The state now is tempering that back to say, ‘OK, we do need to consider that and we need to look at a year’s worth of education and how much growth (we have).’”

In other business, the board will hold a work session immediately following the meeting. There is also a public hearing and vote on a new school bus purchase. Superintendent Bob Callaghan is also expected to deliver a report on the district’s new SubFinder system.

Senior staff writer Ty Rushing may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 6532, or at

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