Saturday, June 20, 2009

The End of the School Year

The school year is finally over for 2008 - 2009. It was a difficult year due to changes in our school, especially after joining the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools. We still have a lot of work to do to remake our school into the best it can be. There are many encouraging signs for the upcoming school year.

I wait with trepidation on our upcoming CST scores that usually are delivered at the beginning of September. I know we progressed as a school. I'm sure our API went up considerably as it did last year. However, our AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) that is determined by NCLB is a different issue. We did not meet our two subgroups last year, African Americans and English Language Learners. I'm afraid we may have missed the mark this year, too. Our bar for this year was 45% proficient in Language Arts and 48% in Mathematics. Each year our bar is raised roughly 8%. If you are already behind in these numbers, it makes it exponentially more difficult to catch up in the upcoming year.

What that means is that, if we don't make our mark, we will be in Program Improvement status 5. Essentially, the state could come and take over our school and start over. I do not think that is a logical option considering we joined the Mayor's Partnership to try to reform the way we do business at school. Hopefully, that will help our case in future program improvement status.

Next year, there will be 5 teachers that will start the process of becoming Nationally Board Certified. It is a rigorous process that requires about a year's worth of time to accomplish. I am looking forward to the process and the learning that will be involved. I won't be doing it alone. All of my colleagues on my grade level are also participating.