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Year 3 Corrective Action
 
Friend Public Schools
 
October 30, 2015
 
Dear Parent(s)/Patron,
 
Friend Public Schools (FPS) is dedicated to providing all students with a sound education that prepares them to succeed in school and in life.  We set high learning expectations for every child.  However, the state and federal governments judge schools based on the results of State NeSA tests for many student subgroups.  Examples of student groups include English language learners and special education students.
                       
As a part of a federal law known as the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, public schools, through NeSA test scores, are judged against multiple goals established by NCLB.  Last year, FPS was required to meet reading and math goals in multiple subgroups in order to be judged as meeting Adequate Yearly Progress or AYP.  If one of these subgroup goals is not met, the school is labeled as not meeting AYP.  In 2014-2015, FPS Elementary did not meet AYP.  This is due to NCLB goals being at 100% for all subgroups. Overall, FPS Elementary met many of the AYP criteria but not all.  However, for the last five years some of the student subgroups did not meet the goals in the areas of reading and mathematics.  As a result, FPS Elementary School has been labeled as a school in need of improvement, Year 3.  This places the building in corrective action status.
 
Names of the Title I schools that did and did not meet the AYP standards for 2014-2015 were released by the Nebraska Department of Education in the State of the Schools Report.  You can compare and contrast the proficiencies of all Nebraska schools, including all schools in Anywhere Public Schools, at the following website:  http://www.education.ne.gov/documents/SOSR.html.  The link to follow is “2014-2015 Report”.
 
Because of our corrective action status our school is required to develop a comprehensive corrective action plan.  As a part of our school’s plan we are currently looking at our current Reading Mastery program and exploring other curriculum programs.  Our school also participates in MAPS testing where individual students are assessed and performance goals are created based off the results.  Our school has also had two years of APL training which helps teachers use instructional and behavioral strategies in their classroom.       
 
It takes two years to prove that our students are making adequate yearly progress and be removed from the School Improvement classification; therefore, our school will be designated as School Improvement for at least an additional two years.  The law provides the option for students who live in our attendance area to choose and enroll in another Friend District School that did meet AYP.  While we are required by law to inform our patrons of the “Public School Choice” option, it is important to note that Friend Public School students do not have another choice of schools within our district and as a result our students do not qualify for Public School Choice. 
 
As a needs improvement school for at least two years, FPS Elementary is required to offer Supplemental Educational Services (SES) to any student who is eligible for free and reduced lunch.   If more eligible students sign up for SES than can be funded, priority will be given to students with the greatest academic need.  A list of vendors providing supplemental educational services is available on the school website www.friendbulldogs.com.  A paper copy is available in the  Friend District office.   Parents who choose to have their children participate in SES are asked to contact the office at (402-947-2781) by November, 13, 2015.  A second enrollment window will be offered later in the school year.
 
Your support matters and we encourage you to attend school events such as parent/teacher conferences. We would also be eager to provide you any “at home” strategies to support reading and math learning.  You can regularly monitor your child’s academic progress by registering for and using Power School.
 
We invite you to contact the school if you have additional questions about any details.  We will continue to celebrate our school’s many successes as we continuously work to provide a quality education for all students.
 
Sincerely,
 
 
David Kraus
Superintendent

 

Year Two Letter

November 7, 2014



Dear Parents,
Public Law 107-110: the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001 mandates that all students (100%) must be proficient on reading and math academic standards by this school year. The measure of progress toward the 100% proficiency standard is referred to in NCLB as Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). The following table illustrates the adequate yearly progress goals required in order for public schools to meet the NCLB mandates:
  2011-2012: 2012-2013: 2013-2014:
NCLB Reading Goals 78% Proficient 89% Proficient 100% Proficient
NCLB Mathematics Goals 67% Proficient 84% Proficient 100% Proficient
Based upon Nebraska state testing results, Friend Elementary School (grades 3-5) has not made adequate yearly progress (AYP) towards meeting the unrealistic goals detailed in the table above for school years 2011-2012, 2012-2013, and 2013-2014. As a result of not meeting the AYP standard for the past three years, Friend School finds itself in year two of “Needs Improvement” status.
            Friend Public School is dedicated to providing a quality educational experience to all students.  Evidence of progress towards this goal is outlined in an enclosed document that compares our NeSA assessment results as well as NePAS ranking for the past two school years.  The document illustrates our relative state-wide standing (as well as our improvement and growth) in Reading, Mathematics, Science, and Writing.  Please note that the state assessment professionals have experienced significant technical issues with the writing portion of the NeSA assessment and therefore, the posted results are incomplete and somewhat misleading.  Additionally, comparative accountability information for all Nebraska Public School Districts is available on the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) State of the Schools Report at http://reportcard.education.ne.gov.
The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act requires each school identified for Title I School Improvement to offer Public School Choice to all students who attend the identified school. While we are required by law to inform our patrons of the “Public School Choice” option, it is important to note that Friend Public School students do not have another choice of schools within our district and as a result our students do not qualify for Public School Choice.  However, supplemental educational services (SES) will be made available at no cost (within certain budget parameters) to qualifying Friend students wishing to avail themselves of said services.  A list of approved SES providers can be located on the Friend Public School web page (http://www.friendbulldogs.org/).  Click on the Title I School Improvement tab on the left-hand side.
Because of the Needs Improvement status, the school has developed and implemented a two-year plan to help student subgroups to meet the proficiency goal.  A committee comprised of the elementary principal, teachers, and parents developed and submitted a plan to the State Department of Education. The plan includes strategies to promote parent involvement and calls for instructional strategies based on scientifically based research as well. Please note that the District has already implemented several changes intended to help raise student achievement. These included implementing a new reading program in grades K-6. Students are placed in reading groups based upon their reading strengths, not just their grade level. Students who scored well below their grade level have been placed in smaller, accelerated groups. Improvement in reading is closely monitored through a process called progress monitoring. Additional academic supports and interventions are provided to those students that appear to be struggling.
Educational research has clearly demonstrated that students benefit greatly from parental involvement in the student’s studies. Asking questions, having students read aloud, and setting aside a time and place for homework are only a few of the things that parents and concerned adults can do to contribute to a student’s academic success. Your child’s teacher can give you additional strategies to work on at home.  Student achievement is a partnership between school and home and a strong partnership has been proven to be effective in helping student achievement.
Please call the elementary principal, Mrs. Dickinson, or me if you have any questions about the AYP status or the plan to improve the academic achievement of all subgroups at the elementary.
 
Sincerely,
  
Michael Moody, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
 
Enclosures

___________________________________________________________________________________________
Year One Letter


November,  2013
 
 
Dear Parents,
The federal education legislation, No Child Left Behind, mandates that all students must be proficient on reading and math academic standards by 2014. Schools are expected to make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) toward that goal.
The state reading goal for last year (academic year 2012-2013) was to have 89% of all students in grades 3-6 proficient on the reading standards (up from 78% in 2011-2012). The goal for students in grades 7 and 8 was for 90% of all students (up from 80% last year) to be proficient on the reading standards, and 89% of 11th graders (up from 79% last year) were expected to be proficient on the reading standards as well.
The 2012-2013state math goals for grades 3-6 were: 84% (up from 67% in 2010-2011), 83% for grades 7-8 (up from 67% last year), and 80% for grade 11 (up from 61% last year).  Additional information about how our school compared to other schools in the state will be available on the State of the Schools Report which will be available for public viewing on October 5, 2013. The State of the Schools Report can be accessed by typing the following url (uniform resource locator) internet link (www.education.ne.gov) into your internet browser address bar.  The State of the Schools Reports can be found on the left hand side of the webpage in the “NDE Quick Links” section.
If a school does not meet the state goal two years in a row, in the same grade level and same subject, they are identified as “In Need of Improvement.” A school can get out of School Improvement Status after all subgroups meet the AYP goals for two consecutive years.  According to a September 28, 2013, article in the Omaha World-Herald, 286 schools in Nebraska (approximately two-thirds of the state’s public schools) find themselves in the “In Need of Improvement” category.
Friend Elementary is in year 1 of Title I School Improvement Status. The following table illustrates our students' overall performance over the past two years.
 
  Reading Mathematics Writing*
2011/2012 2012/2013 2011/2012 2012/2013 2011/2012 2012/2013
Grades 3-6 64.20%
Goal Not Met
58.62%
Goal Not Met
66.67%
Goal Met
63.79%
Goal Met
100%
Goal Met
70.59%
Goal Met
Grades 7-8 80.43%
Goal Met
65.91%
Goal Not Met
69.57%
Goal Met
59.09%
Goal Not Met
75%
Goal Met
No Data Available+
Grade 11 59.09%
Goal Met
81.82%
Goal Not Met
63.64%
Goal Met
 
68.18%
Goal Met
 
73%
Goal Met
88%
Goal Met
 
*Only Grades 4, 8, and 11 take the NeSA writing assessment.
+Due to scoring issues, no data were released.
 

 
Friend Elementary will remain in School Improvement Status until all subgroups are able to meet the reading goal two years in a row.
The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act requires each school identified for Title I School Improvement to offer Public School Choice to all students who attend the identified school. Our students do not have another choice of schools within our district and as a result our students do not qualify for Public School Choice.
Because of the status, the school must develop and implement a two-year plan to help the subgroups to meet the goal. This year, a committee comprised of the elementary principal, teachers, and parents will develop and submit a plan to the State Department of Education. The plan will include strategies to promote parent involvement as well as incorporated instructional strategies based on scientifically based research. Please note that the District has already implemented several changes intended to help raise student achievement. These included implementing a new reading program in grades K-6. Students are placed in reading groups based upon their reading strengths, not just their grade level. Students who scored well below their grade level have been placed in smaller, accelerated groups. It is the hope of the district that these changes, with others will help us to meet the goal this year.
All students benefit greatly from parents being involved in many ways. Asking questions, having students read aloud, and setting aside a time and place for homework are only a few of the things that parents and concerned adults can do. Your child’s teacher can give you additional strategies to work on at home.  Student achievement is a partnership between school and home and a strong partnership has been proven to be effective in helping student achievement.
Please call the elementary principal, Mrs. Dickinson, or me if you have any questions about the AYP status or the plan to improve the academic achievement of all subgroups at the elementary.
 
Sincerely,
 
 
 
 
 
 
Michael Moody, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
 
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