Sibley East makes adequate yearly progress in all but four areas


Sibley East School District has met 96.2% of the requirements for Adequate Yearly Progress under the No Child Left Behind Act.

The results were released on the Minnesota Department of Education website last week. Lynn O’Brien, Sibley East’s test coordinator, presented the results at the school board meeting Monday.

District-wide, Sibley East was cited for not making adequate yearly progress in math proficiency for special education students.

Sibley East Elementary in Gaylord and Sibley East Senior High School in Arlington met adequate yearly progress in all areas.

Sibley East Elementary in Arlington did not meet adequate yearly progress in math for students who qualify for free and reduced lunch and in math for all students. Sibley East Junior High School in Gaylord did not meet adequate yearly progress in math for special education students.

Some of Sibley East’s groups include all students, Hispanic, white, limited English proficient, special education, and free/reduced lunch.

School districts are judged whether or not they are making adequate yearly progress based on the schools and districts achieving annual proficiency targets on state reading and math tests.

“We have come a long way,” Superintendent Stephen Jones said. “Last year we didn’t make it in 16 areas. This year we didn’t make it in four.”

Sibley East, last year, did not meet adequate yearly progress in nine areas of reading, but this year, Sibley East met adequate yearly progress in all categories for reading.

O’Brien explained that the reading test covers topics of vocabulary, comprehension and literature. The math test covers number sense, patterns, functions and algebra, data, statistics and probability, spatial sense, geometry and measurement.

There are 433 Minnesota school districts, 79.3%, that serve Title I schools. As a district with Title I Schools, Sibley East will be implementing a needs improvement plan in 2010-11. As part of this plan, the district must use Title I funds to provide professional development for the teaching staff to improve the quality of education.

Sibley East’s math action plan is focusing on the special education category, O’Brien said. The goal is to increase the number of proficient students in the special education category by 1% using the spring 2011 MCA results as a measurement.

Strategies identified to achieve the coal are to examine student identification, appropriate curriculum alignment with standards, clarify student schedules to include time for interventions, examine instructional delivery/engagement for special education students, examine at a granular level what the data says about individual students, make data electronically available to teachers and students, and to plan a parent math curriculum night.

Math curriculum is also being purchased for special education students that meets national standards.

Sibley East has also developed a reading action plan for 2010-2011. The goal is to increase Sibley East’s proficiency rate for MCA’s to 5% above the state average for all grades.

Strategies to implement the goal are to have 15 minutes of silent reading in Junior High homeroom every day, interventions, implement reading strategies in all content areas, each teacher create goals to support the reading goal, and have 85% of students meet grade level criteria by the end of the year.

O’Brien said that the district shouldn’t be afraid to “analyze progress and proactively plan for improvement.” She said there has been shifts from teaching focus to learning focus, teaching as a private practice to teachings as a collaborative practice, and for school improvement as an option, to school improvement as a responsibility.