Dear WDSD Parents:
As many of you know, both Thatcher Brook and Crossett Brook staff take our jobs seriously when it comes to teaching basic skills to our students. Our schools are making adequate yearly progress (AYP) for many students according to our state administered tests. That said, our schools remain in the category of “identified schools”, based on federal and state standards regarding adequate yearly progress as assessed by our 2010 NECAP scores. Based on these scores, we have not met AYP in Reading for the students who qualify for free/reduced lunch, and students with disabilities. In Math we have not met AYP in general for all students, and for students who qualify for free/reduced lunch, students with disabilities, and white students.
This is our 5th year of being an “identified school”. The federal “No Child Left Behind” legislation offered us five options for moving forward, with the requirement that the school board choose one. These options included: 1. Reopen the school as a public charter school. 2. Replace all or most of the school staff, which may include the principal, who are relevant to the school not making AYP. 3. Enter into a contract with an entity, such as a private management company, with a demonstrated record of effectiveness, to operate the public school. 4. Turn the operation of the school over to the state, if permitted under state law and agreed to by the state. 5. Carry out any other major restructuring of the school’s governance arrangements that makes fundamental reforms, such as significant changes in the school’s staffing and governance, to improve academic achievement in the school. The actions must have substantial promise of enabling the school to make AYP as defined in the state plan. Because the first four options were not reasonable options when considering our current system and Vermont educational statutes, we chose the restructuring plan option.
This Spring our schools were audited by a team of outside educators, and we are using those results, together with our WDSD Strategic Plan and Five Year Foci, to write the restructuring plan. When the plan gets approved by the State Department of Education, the plan will be hosted on our websites.
We appreciate your support of our school system as we continually strive to make our learning environments stronger for all students. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions.
Tom Drake and Catherine Knight Don Schneider and Barbara Tomasi-Gay
Crossett Brook Middle School Thatcher Brook Primary School
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