The Principal's Memo
We appreciate everyone who returned a 2011-2012 Needs Assessment Survey to your child’s teacher. It is good feedback that we received and it helps us to identify strengths and weaknesses of our school and areas that we need to focus on. Several people have inquired about the results so we decided to post them on our school website for anyone interested.
The results of the Needs Assessment Survey for Enterprise School indicated that the majority of the parents felt the school’s overall program was either GOOD or EXCELLENT. Enterprise received only 5 poor scores out of 368 surveys pertaining to the overall Academic Program. Our teachers received a positive ranking as well as the school’s administration. Ninety percent of the surveys ranked the total Education Quality of the Lincoln County School District either EXCELLENT or GOOD. Parents indicated that they were given opportunities to be involved and play an Active Role in their children’s education.
Weaknesses at the school most frequently cited were: limited parking; parent pick up; consistency in discipline and too much emphasis on state testing. Strengths cited by parents included: great teachers and administrative leadership; good student-teacher-parent relationships; friendly family atmosphere and a good academic curriculum. Parents indicated that they felt welcomed at the school and that our school offered a safe environment for their children. The workshops that they were most interested in included helping their child with homework and improving study skills.
1. Academic Program………164……….155……..41………4………..1
3. Teacher Attitude…………184……….148……..26………7………..3
….Knowledge of Subject…..193………136……..34……….3……….2
4. Principal Leadership…….168………128………48……..17………7
5. Education Quality………..153………174………38………0……….3
6. Active Role in School……195………132………37………4……….0
7. Rate Title I (if applies)……43………..20………..2………1……….0
8. Do you feel welcome at school…YES: 315…NO: 8…SOME:45
9. Weaknesses (Most Commented):
Limited Parking Space
Parent Pick Up Process
Inconsistency in Discipline
Too Much Emphasis on State Testing
10. Strengths (Most Commented):
Great Teachers & Administrative Leadership
Good Student-Teacher-Parent Relationships
Good Family Friendly Atmosphere
Strong Academic Curriculum
11. Topics of parent training/would like the school to provide (Most Commented):
How to Better Help Students with Homework
Improving Study Skills
Again, our thanks to everyone who returned a survey, but if you did not turn one in do not feel that you cannot voice your feels about Enterprise, both what we are doing well and what we need to work on. Please feel free to come by and visit Enterprise, meet with your child’s teacher, tour our campus, or simply come by and have a cup of coffee with me. Our school is a reflection of our community and by working together we can continue to strive for excellence.
While not as publicized in the state and local media, Adequate Yearly Progess (AYP) is the federal model of school accountability that schools and districts are rated by. Meeting AYP is a major component of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, which mandates that ALL students in ALL schools will be proficient in Language Arts and Mathematics by 2014. States have been given a certain amount of freedom in implementing the law, and each state has been unique in how it measures AYP. The two main aspects are Test Participation and Proficiency. But to understand AYP, the concept of Subgroups must be understood.
Subgroups are the various groups that make up a school that are assessed under NCLB. Per law, these groups are All, Individual Education Plan (Special Needs), Limited English Proficiency, Economically Disadvantaged, Asian, Black, Hispanic, Native American, and White. In order for a subgroup to be considered, a school or district must have above a minimum number of students in that subgroup. While the US Department of Education has put that number at 100, states have the ability to lower that number even further. In Mississippi, the subgroup number is 40. The rationale by MDE is that in many schools, especially rural schools, certain subgroups would not be considered for AYP because there would be far fewer than 100 students in some subgroups. This is an important point: not every school has the same number of students in subgroups, and therefore schools have different concerns as far as making AYP. For example, Enterprise is the only school in Lincoln County that has 40 or more students in its IEP subgroup. Therefore, Enterprise is the only school in the district that has to contend with making AYP for IEP students. However, the District as a whole has to be concerned due to the fact that the accumulation of all students in the subgroup may put the district above 40.
B. Test Participation
To insure that all students are being assessed, schools/districts are required to test 95% of eligible students in each subgroup. If 95% participation is not met for an eligible subgroup (40+ students) then the school does not meet AYP, regardless of how well the students score. The purpose of this is to keep schools from “hiding” students to the effect of either: (1) lowering the subgroup number below 40 or (2) increasing test scores by not testing weak students. What makes this complicated is that while K-8 schools are only concerned with students for that particular year, high schools have to considered (1) students who test that year and (2) any seniors who are graduating. K-12 schools have to worry about both.
For example, Enterprise (K-12) has students who test in Language Arts and Mathematics in 3-8, 10th graders in English II, and those students (usually 9th or 10th grade) who test in Algebra I for a given year. Also, any Senior who graduates must also have taken the English II and Algebra I tests. This doesn’t seem to be a problem, except that this is for ALL students — including SPED students who are not diploma tract but must still take these tests. If, for example, a SPED student receives a certificate of completion but never took the Algebra I exam, then that student counts against the 95% participation rate. For small schools, this could easily push the school out of participation compliance, and therefore AYP is automatically not met.
While mentioning IEP/SPED students, the law also mandates that students must test on grade level, not ability level. For instance, a SPED student who reads on the 3rd grade level but is in the 6th grade MUST take the 6th grade test with little or no accommodations. If students are not tested on grade level, this also counts agains participation and again can cause a school to not meet AYP.
Proficiency is what percentage of students in each subgroup scored proficient or better on MCT2/SATP2 tests and how it compares to what percentage is required. States were given flexibility in how it increased the required percentage (until 2014 which is 100%) and Mississippi did a gradual increase every couple of years. While it did not create a huge burden all at once, schools that may have met AYP a few years ago could struggle to meet the new AYP targets. For instance, in 2008 the AYP target for 4th grade Language Arts students was 34% proficient. In 2011, the AYP target was 67% and is due to increase next year. Again, keep in mind that ALL students must meet this target – including SPED students. Not making AYP in ANY subgroup means the school did not meet AYP, regardless of how well the other subgroups did (hence the law’s title, “No Child Left Behind”). For example, if Enterprise made AYP in Language Arts and Mathematics for every reportable subgroup (40 or more students) except for IEP, then Enterprise did not meet AYP.
D. Safe Harbor
If 95% participation is met but proficiency is not, the law allows schools that improve to be considered having met AYP by using Safe Harbor. There are two parts to Safe Harbor: (1) 10% improvement and (b) Other Academic Indicators. 10% improvement is simple — a school shows an improvement in percent proficient by at least 10% from the previous year. There are some complicated calculations involved, such as weighted difference and proficiency indices, but the key is that the subgroup has to show solid improvement to meet Safe Harbor. Other Academic Indicators can either be attendance rate (K-8) of 92% or improvement from the previous year; or graduation rate (9-12 or K-12) of 72% or improvement from the previous year. Both 10% Improvement and OAI must be made to meet Safe Harbor. Using Enterprise as an example, if the IEP subgroup showed improvement, but not the full 10% required by Safe Harbor, even with 93% attendance and 85% graduation, Safe Harbor is not met and, as a result, AYP is not met.
E. Not Making AYP
Schools that do not make AYP for two consecutive years go into School Improvement Year 1. To get out of school improvement, a school must meet AYP for two consecutive years. If not, then the steps are School Improvement Year 2, Corrective Action, and Restructuring (Years 1 and 2). Different steps have different aspects, such as School Choice (for all steps), Supplemental Educational Services, and possible replacement of staff/administration that is responsible for a school getting into school improvement. Again, keep in mind that while a school is in school improvement and is trying to meet AYP for two consecutive years to get out, the standard for meeting AYP is constantly being raised. As one educator put it, “it’s like being in a sinking lifeboat and trying to row to the main ship – but the ship keeps sailing away from the lifeboat!”
The reason AYP is so important is that federal dollars are tied to making AYP. As long as a school (or district) takes federal monies (Child Nutrition/Lunch Program, Title I, etc.) then AYP must be met or run the risk of losing these dollars. Therefore, while not as widely publicized as the state model, the federal model is just as important, if not more so.
I hope this helps clear up some of your questions, but as always let me know if you have additional questions.
As you know, school labels came out last week and there is much discussion about which schools and districts are labeled “Successful” or “High Performing” and which are labeled “Academic Watch” or “Low Performing”. To understand what this label means, it is important to understand the three components of accountability: QDI, Growth, and Graduation.
A. QDI — Quality Distribution Index
QDI, simply put, is used to show how many students in a school (or district) score Mimimal, Basic, Proficient, or Advanced on MCT2/SATP2 tests. Schools/Districts are awarded 3 points for every percentage of students who score Advanced, 2 points for every percentage of students who score Proficient, 1 point for every percentage of students who score Basic, and 0 points for every percentage of students who score Minimal. If all students scored Advanced, then the school/district has a QDI of 300 (most possible). If every student scored Proficient, then the QDI is 200. If every student scored Basic, then the QDI is 100. And if every student scored Minimal, the QDI is 0. The middle score is 150, meaning that on average 1/2 of the students scored Proficient or more and 1/2 of the students scored Basic or less.
An example of how this works is Lincoln County. For 2010-2011, the District had a QDI of 167. That number means that, on average, we had a higher percentage of students who scored Proficient or more than scored Basic or less. In comparison, Franklin County had a District QDI of 146 — meaning that slightly less than half of the students scored Proficient or more and slightly more than half scored Basic or less. Therefore, the higher the QDI, the higher the percentage of students who score Proficient or better.
Why focus on Proficient and not Basic? National standards (including No Child Left Behind) focus on students scoring Proficient. Therefore, our State Accountability Model does so to align with these standards. However, while QDI is the largest part of the label, it is by no means the most important.
Growth, simply put, is what a student is expected to score on this year’s test based on last year’s test score. For example, if a student in 5th grade scores a 147 on her MCT2 Language Arts test, then in 6th grade she may be expected to score a 150 on her MCT2 Language Arts test (this number is calculated by MDE statisticians using a predetermined formula). If the student scores 150 or better, she has Met Growth. If she scores 149 or less, she did Not Meet Growth. Keep in mind: even though she might have improved her score from the previous year, she may not have met the mandated growth number.
A school (or district) meets growth when ALL student totals in ALL grades (weighted based on the number of students per grade) total 0 or higher. If the growth total is less than 0, even by decimal places, growth is not met (no rounding up or down is allowed). Using our previous districts, Lincoln County did Not Meet its growth, having a negative growth total of a fraction of a point. Franklin County, on the other had, had a positive growth total and therefore Met Growth.
Why focus on Growth? Again, Standards emphasize the need to reward schools who show progress in moving their students towards Proficiency. The State Accountability Model goes beyond this and assigns schools and districts a lower label than the QDI would dictate. If a school or district scores a QDI of 133-165, normally that would warrant a “Successful” label. But if Growth is not met, then the label becomes “Academic Watch”. Likewise, a QDI of 166-199 would warrant “High Performing”, but if growth is not met the label becomes “Successful”.
For districts and high schools, Graduation Rate is the final component in the School Accountability Model (K-8 schools do not use this component). This component MUST be met for schools or districts to move into “High Performing” or “Star” status, regardless of QDI or Growth. Therefore, if a school/district has a QDI of 200-300 and meets Growth but does not meet Graduation Rate of 80% or better (or a High School Completion Index of 230 — which takes into account graduation, completers, GEDs, and dropouts) then the label is “High Performing” not “Star”. Likewise, with a QDI of 166-199 and Growth met but the Graduation Rate of 75% or better is not met (or HSCI of 200) then the label is “Successful” not “High Performing”. Interestingly enough, Graduation Rate is not factored in to schools/districts below a 166 QDI. Therefore, a school that scores well and meets growth can not be labeled less than “Successful”, regardless if any students graduate from the school or not.
Why focus on Graduation? Of course, Graduation Rate is important and is part of the National Standards / NCLB. However, the State Accountability Model has made it a requirement for the top levels only.
D. So What Does This All Mean?
When you look at a school/district label, remember that several factors have gone into the label and that, in reality, not all “Successful” or “High Performing” schols are equal. Likewise, a “Academic Watch” school may actually be scoring higher than a “Successful” school, but because of other factors the final label indicates a different tale.
Here are some examples:
Lincoln County, QDI 167, Growth Not Met, 76% Graduation, Labeled “Successful”
Copiah County, QDI 142, Growth Met, 77% Graduation, Labeled “Successful”
Lawrence County, QDI 163, Growth Not Met, 78% Graduation, Labeled “Academic Watch”
Brookhaven, QDI 155, Growth Not Met, 74% Graduation, Labeled “Academic Watch”
Franklin County, QDI 146, Growth Met, 63% Graduation, Labeled “Successful”
Also, keep in mind this is not the same as Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). That is the Federal Model and will be explained later.
I hope this helps you understand things and if you have any questions please let me know.
Due to recent events, Enterprise is implementing a new student game day policy. If a student is on campus before, during, or immediately after a game (football, basketball, baseball, or softball) they must either be at the field or in the gym, or with a parent/guardian. Students will not be allowed to leave the game and return, and security will instruct students who attempt to do so to either return to the game or leave campus. Any student who does not abide by this policy will be subject to disciplinary actions by school officials.
I hope everyone had a great summer and is excited about the upcoming school year at Enterprise! I’m sure it will be another fantastic year at our school and I’m looking forward to it!
As you are aware, Open House had to be moved due to the Primary Election held in our school library. It will be on Tuesday, August 9th, from 5-7 pm. I hope your family can come and meet our students’ teachers. At this time students’ MCT2/SATP report sheets will be given out by their homeroom teachers.
In the upcoming weeks there are several projects going on around Enterprise. First, as you probably have noticed, road work is occurring on Hwy 583 and Topisaw Drive. It will hopefully be completed within the next few weeks, but in the meantime please be patient and allow yourself more time as there will be delays.
Also, the Board has voted to advertise for bids on constructing a new gymnasium at Enterprise. This is something desperately needed, as our gym is over 30 years old and designed for a student body less than half of what we have now. When the gym is completed, there are plans to convert the current gym into a dining area and expand the kitchen area of the cafeteria. This is expected to ease the crowding at lunch we currently experience. Construction is expected to begin after the bid process finishes and will hopefully be completed before basketball season next year. During this construction, there will be some inconveniences so please be patient as we continue to improve the facilities at Enterprise.
Again, welcome back to another year at Enterprise and if I can be of any service to you please feel free to call at (601) 833-7284 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We are very proud of our student athletes here at Enterprise. They are a hard-working, committed group of young ladies and gentlemen who represent our school, our community, and our district every time they go to compete. Win or lose, there is nothing like the excitement of watching our students fight for dear Enterprise. Both our athletes and our coaches should be commended for their hard work and I invite you to do so whenever you come in contact with our teams.
One aspect of competition that we take very seriously here at Enterprise is Good Sportsmanship. Good Sportsmanship encompasses our behavior both on and off the playing surface. It is treating both your teammates and opponents with respect. It is respecting the game officials and the job they do, regardless if we agree with a call. And it means that as fans we conduct ourselves in a manner that reflects positively on our school and community.
The Mississippi High School Activities Association mandates good sportsmanship from everyone involved in athletics — players, coaches, administrators, officials, and fans. Good sportsmanship is so important that serious penalties can occur to a school whenever unacceptable behavior is displayed, regardless of who displays it. This can include ejection for the offending party to probation for the entire sports program, so it is very important that everyone remember to be good sports.
We have much to be proud of as supporters of Enterprise. Let’s make sure that Good Sportsmanship is at the forefront!
We are starting a new means of communicating with Enterprise followers — Twitter!
It works very similar to the Lincoln County updates on your phone. To sign up, simply send the following text message to the phone number 40404:
or, from your computer,
http://Twitter.com/PrincipalENT then click on the follow icon
If you currently use Twitter, you’re all set! If not, you will be asked to create a Twitter user name (much like a user name for your email). There are millions of Twitter users, so you might have to try a few times until you come up with a unique user name.
If you don’t text, or this is more hassle to you than it’s worth, never fear. This blog will still provide important Enterprise info. It’s just another tool to try to keep our Enterprise family informed.
Have a great summer! See you in August!
As you know, this week begins a very important stretch for our school. Our students in Biology, U.S. History, Algebra I, and English II are taking state subject area tests (SATPs) which are not only used to determine how well we are doing academically at Enterprise, but are used as “exit exams” by the state.
Likewise, in two weeks students in grades 3 through 8 will take the Mississippi Curriculum Tests (MCT2s) which is also used to measure how well your students are doing at Enterprise. If you have a child involved in these tests, please help emphasize the importance of doing well and encourage her or him to do their very best.
On a different note, I want to congratulate our Fast Pitch Softball team on reaching the playoffs. Our Lady Jackets will play host to Enterprise-Clarke on Friday, April 30th, at 6:30 p.m. I hope to see a large turnout for this important playoff game. Our ladies need your support!
As May approaches, we have several awards days and ceremonies coming up in the next few weeks, culminating with Graduation for the Class of 2010. If you subscribe to the Jacket Journal you receive a weekly update of these events. If not, you can check either the school or district websites for dates and times. Or, give us a call. We’ll be glad to assist you.
Here at Enterprise, we have much to be proud of and thankful for. If you have kept up with the news stories on our school website you’ve seen our students compete and achieve in all areas — academically and athletically. Every year it seems that Enterprise achieves more and more, each accomplishment encouraging the next.
I saw a t-shirt recently that said: “We have a great school, great teachers, great students, a great community….in fact, everything about Enterprise is just GREAT!” And the reason Enterprise is great is because everyone works together to make it so. Thank you for making Enterprise what it is!
I want to thank everyone who has turned in a Parent Survey to the school. We appreciate the kind words and listen to the concerns that you have mentioned. If you haven’t filled out and returned the survey your child brought home, please do so and return it this week. We use these to gauge how we are doing as a school and what we need to improve.
There are a few items that several parents have mentioned as a concern that I wish to address. First, there is most definitely a parking problem on campus. This problem has existed for years, but was exacerbated with the construction of the new elementary building a couple of years ago. We hope to have the parking situation rectified once the new baseball field is completed. The old baseball field will then be converted into parking with a practice field where part of the outfield is. This will not only provide parking for our students and game visitors, but allow for more security and order in our parking. In the meantime, we ask for your understanding.
Likewise, there are concerns with our parent drop-off, primarily with the smaller students having to pass by high school students on the way to class. We are constantly looking at ways to improve our parent drop-off and pick-up situation and welcome any comments you may have. The main obstacle is that, due to logistics, the drop-off area is in the back part of campus, but most of the classroom buildings are in the front of campus on Topisaw Drive. As a result, we find ourselves making the best of a less than ideal situation. We are not satisfied with this, however, and will continue to try to make our parent drop-off/pick-up safer and more orderly.
Thank you for your continuing support of Enterprise and all who work to make this school the best it can be.
In an effort to keep our parents and community better informed of the goings on at Enterprise, I will begin posting a blog of important information or events. Right now I will be posting on an “as-needed” basis, but in the near future I hope to have it set up to inform you whenever a new post is added. This memo is a “test” to see how it looks and for me to learn how to use the software. Stay tuned!
Shannon Eubanks — 04/20/10