District schools perform well on state and federal accountability


School District No. 1 reached or surpassed

state and federal accountability standards on

most of the indicators that are measured, principals

reported at the regular board of trustees

meeting on Nov. 8.

The Wyoming Department of Education

established statewide accountability standards

with the 2013 Wyoming Accountability

in Education Act (WAEA). Federal accountability

is measured through the Every Students

Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015. ESSA

was fully implemented in the 2017/2018 academic

year, and each state is granted the ability

to set their own long-term and immediate

goals under the federal act.

The state and federal acts both measure accountability

in four core areas: achievement,

growth, equity and English language proficiency.

Achievement is calculated as the percentage

of students who scored “proficient”

or above on the WY-TOPP standardized tests

out of the total number of students who took

each test.

Growth tracks changes in achievement for

individual students compared to their cohort

as they progress through grade levels. Since

the WY-TOPP test is new, scores from previous

PAWS and ACT Aspire tests are used to

measure growth.

Equity is designed to account for gaps

between students with low standardized test

scores and those with higher scores. Equity

is measured as a weighted score based on

the number of students in a district who fall

within the bottom 25th percentile on standardized

test scores.

English language proficiency measures

student progress in learning English during a

specific time frame.

Additional indicators, such as graduation

rate and “post-secondary readiness,” are also

measured at the high school level.

The federal ESSA accountability model

classifies a school as either in need of “comprehensive”

or “targeted support and improvement”

or as “unclassified.” If a school is

performing well on all indicators, that school

receives an “unclassified” designation.

The state WAEA model ranks schools as

“below target,” “meets target” or “exceeds

target” on each indicator.

Pinedale Elementary School received a

score of “meets target” on growth and equity

and “exceeds target” on achievement and

English language proficiency. The school

received an “unclassified” designation by

ESSA, a “good place to be,” said Principal

Greg Legerski at the board meeting.

Legerski said the elementary school’s

attendance rate of 93.1 percent during the

2017/2018 academic year is a five-year high.

Elementary students performed well above

the state average on all of the WY-TOPP

tests with the exception of English language

acquisition, Legerski said. English language

curriculum at the school was “seven or eight

years old” and needed some improvement, he

said.

Overall standardized test scores at the elementary

school continue to improve, Legerski

said, a result of “the incredible dedication of

staff and teachers.”

Pinedale Middle School did well on equity

and achievement standards for both WAEA

and ESSA but received a “below target”

and “below average” score on the WAEA

and ESSA growth indicator. Principal Jeryl

Fluckiger said that the school planned to improve

on growth and look at ways to ease the

difficult adjustment period between elementary

school and middle school known as the

“sixth-grade drop.”

“We are still working a lot on our curriculum

to increase the level of rigor to align

with harder rates of assessment,” he said at

the board meeting.

The attendance rate at the middle school

for academic year 2017/2018 stood at just

below 94 percent, a five-year high. Students

at the school also performed well on the WYTOPP

tests and Fluckiger noted that local

eighth-graders achieved the third highest

scores in the state on the science test.

Pinedale High School received a “meets

target” score on WAEA growth, achievement,

equity and English language proficiency standards.

The school received a positive “unclassified”

designation from ESSA.

The only indicator that the high school did

not meet the accountability target was “postsecondary

readiness.” Principal Brian Brisko

explained that this was a new indicator with

a complex system of measurement that the

school was evaluating.

Attendance at the high school was at a

“five-year high” of 92.3 percent in the first

quarter of 2018, Brisko said. Pinedale High

School boasted a 2017 graduation rate of 98.3

percent, Brisko said, “putting us pretty close

to the top in the state.” He recognized the

“hard work” of staff members at the school

for all their achievements. n


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