Ed Fenn, Milan Village School make the AYP grade

April 14, 2011
GORHAM — In SAU 20, the report on which schools made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) goals did not cause a lot of heartburn. The Gorham Randolph Shelburne Cooperative School District was aware of issues their low math scores might cause, but overall the report showed the district had met its goals of educating the children enrolled. Likewise, Errol and Milan schools also made the cut.

"We're very excited here at SAU 20," said superintendent Paul Bousquet. The kids are doing well and the teachers are getting them where they need to be, he explained.

Errol, listed last year as a school in need of improvement (SINI), scored within the necessary confidence interval in reading and gained an exception under the safe harbor rule in math. With just 11 students tested, Errol is largely exempt from the more stringent scoring methods. Errol students tested in reading were almost split down the middle, with five scoring proficient or higher and six scoring partially proficient or substantially below proficient. In math, four students tested at proficiency or higher while seven scored in the lower two tiers.

Milan students fared better reaching their target performance indexes in both reading and math. Milan surpassed their index targets of 91.0 in reading (91.4) and 88 in math (91.1). The index scores are figured by multiplying the number of students scoring at each proficiency level by a designated multiplier and then adding those products. That sum is divided by the total number of students tested to reach the index.

Ed Fenn Elementary students performed on par with Milan, surpassing their reading target of 91.0 (94.2) and math target of 88 (92.1). Reaching AYP for Ed Fenn moves that school toward being removed from the list of 307 schools in need of improvement. A school must make AYP for two consecutive years to be removed from the list.

While things are looking up at most of the SAU's elementary schools, the high school was a notable exception in this year's results. "Our biggest concern is math at the high school," Bousquet admitted.

While the high school fell short of the index goal of 89.0 in reading (85.6), their low enrollment means that their AYP was calculated using a statistical confidence interval like the one used for Errol. In math however, Gorham High School had a target index of 72 and only scored 57.7. Not surprising given that all but nine of the 43 students tested below the proficiency level in math.

Bousquet said that the math issue at the high school level could be something as simple as scheduling — making sure the students in 10th grade have the opportunity to be exposed to the math that will be on the test in October of the junior year. The elementary schools have put math remediation plans in place, he explained, as that subject has been identified as a weakness across grade levels and now the district will be looking at ways to get the high school scores up as well, said Bousquet.

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