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Lakeway rally celebrates test scores

Lisbon also exits "school in need of improvement" list

April 21, 2011
LITTLETON- The governor may have not have made it, but the kids didn't seem to mind at Lakeway Elementary School's rally last Friday to celebrate the school's removal from the "schools in need of improvement" list based on this year's test scores. The high school band welcomed the students to the playground where they were treated with praise from local community leaders.

"It does take a team effort to achieve an accomplishment like this," said Superintendent Tommy Stephens, recognizing everyone from the administration to the teachers to the secretarial staff for the achievement. Stephens said the effort was "something that I'm pretty proud to be a part of."

"It shows a lot of effort put in by the teachers and the students," echoed School Board Member Rodney Edwards. The entire school board was present for the celebration.

Lakeway was one of 11 schools that exited the "schools in need of improvement" (SINI) list by meeting its adequate yearly progress (AYP) goals on the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) for two years in a row.

"By exiting the SINI list, Lakeway will gain more autonomy regarding how it spends its annual Title 1 funding, and no longer have to conform to other restrictions that accompany the SINI designation," read an April 10 press release from Lakeway.

Mike Loughlin, of the Littleton Rotary, was at the event as a representative of the local business community, which he said is very proud of the Littleton students. Loughlin said the students' work sent a clear message to everyone in the community: "This is what you can do when you work together."

For their efforts, all of the kids will be receiving certificates and pencils that say, "Lakeway All-Stars" on them – "You are all truly all-stars," said Bidgood.

Lisbon Regional Middle School was also among the schools exiting the SINI list. It had been on the list because of inadequate math scores on the NECAP, but Principal Stephen Sexton said, with these last scores, Lisbon was well over the state average.

"We're implementing a new math program, and it's really starting to pay off," said Sexton.

Sexton credits the improvement to his staff.

"If you have a good staff and good people that are knowledgeable about what they do, good things happen," he said.

Bethlehem Elementary School was among the schools that failed to meet AYP based on its learning disabled students. This is the third year the school has been on the SINI list.

To make AYP, schools must meet performance goals set for students in math and reading. Schools are awarded full credit for students who score proficient or better on the test, and partial credit for students who score below proficient. If a school does not make AYP for two years, it is placed on the SINI list. If a school is on the SINI list for six consecutive years, it may be taken over by the state. Of the 469 schools in the state, only 28 percent made AYP in all areas measured, while 70 percent did not make AYP in one or more areas. Sixty new schools were added to the SINI list this year, increasing the number to 307 in total.

Salmon Press
Martin Lord Osman
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