The Richmond Register

February 17, 2013

County board adopts improvement plan for school district

By Crystal Wylie
Register News Writer

RICHMOND — Madison County Schools’ chief academic officer Randy Peffer outlined four main goals at Thursday’s board meeting for improving the school district.

Every year, Kentucky school districts must submit a Comprehensive District Improvement Plan (CDIP). They are usually submitted by Jan. 1, but because of the late arrival of state assessment data for the new accountability system, the CDIP, as well as school assessment plans, were submitted Feb. 1.

Along with recent changes in the state assessment and accountability system, Unbridled Learning, changes have been made for CDIPs as well, said Peffer.

“They have streamlined the process in helping and assisting schools in completing their comprehensive plans. In doing so, every school and district in the state will have very, very similar goals just based upon their data,” he said.

The district’s four main goals are:

1. To increase the Averaged Freshman Graduation Rate or the percentage of high school students who graduate in four years

The AFGR is part of a high school’s assessment under the new accountability system.

“That was our first and foremost goal,” Peffer said. “We want to make sure we are graduating kids from high school.”

The district will provide schools assistance by identifying at-risk students based upon “longitudinal assessment data,” he said.

Schools also will use federal GEAR UP funds to take students on college visits.

“Having students start to think of life after high school — if we can get them on a college campus to see what college life could be like, then they’re more likely to graduate high school,” Peffer said.

2. To increase the percentage of students who are college and career ready

“Not only do we want students to graduate, we want to make sure they are ready to either enter the workforce upon graduation or enter college or a technical school upon graduation,” he said.

The district was awarded an AdvanceKentucky grant that will pay for additional Advanced Placement courses in high schools.

There also are plans to implement a program to help students prepare for the ACT, “which is the gatekeeper for college admittance,” Peffer said.

3. To increase the number of students who are scoring proficient and/or distinguished in math or reading

Math and reading are the two areas that are focused on, not only by the state department of education, but nationally, Peffer said.

“In order to do that, we’ll be looking at the standards and making sure we are teaching to the standards of what students are going to be assessed on,” he said.

4. To increase the achievement of students in the non-duplicated “gap” group (students with special education needs, are a minority, receive free or reduced lunch or are English Language Learners, students who have not mastered the English language because they are new to the country)

“We want to make sure we are providing opportunities for students classified in the ‘gap’ group and that we’re meeting their needs where they are,” Peffer said.