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School Board reviews progress test results

Superintendent says the district's scores improved this year

Posted: Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Juneau Assistant Superintendent Charla Wright presented Annual Yearly Progress test results to the Juneau School Board on Tuesday in the first of two planned sessions.

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The Juneau School District failed AYP again, but failed fewer criteria in the 31-part federal test, she said.

"We did bring our scores up in math," Wright said.

Superintendent Peggy Cowan said that from one year to the next scores have improved within the district.

Even though the overall failure rate in the school district remained three out of the 12 schools in the district, the schools overall failed fewer test criteria.

Discuss test results

Parents may attend meetings at these schools:

• Aug. 15: Mendenhall River, 3 p.m., Glacier Valley, 5 p.m.

• Aug. 16: Juneau Community Charter School, 7 p.m., Auke Bay, 5 p.m.

• Aug. 17: Gastineau, noon

• Aug. 20: Juneau-Douglas High School, 6 p.m.

"As a group we are progressing," Cowan said.

The School District failed 24 overall categories on the 2005-06 test. During the 2006-07 test cycle the district failed 19 of the 31 possible categories.

Cowan announced a series of report card sessions at schools throughout the district. It's an effort to meet with parents and discuss individual school status, Cowan said.

"The rubber meets the road at the individual schools," she said.

Reading scores suffered among Juneau students with special needs in 2006-07 AYP testing. Four of 12 schools failed.

School Board discussion centered on vacancies in the special education department with a focus on para-educators. The district is short 20 para-educators, said Patti Carlson, district human resources director.

"Retaining these people is the most important thing for the kids," School Board member Mark Choate said.

New Student Services Director Dave Newton said that work could be done to make a better work environment with hopes of retaining para-educators.

Wright said the improvements in math were in part due to board support for new text books and materials. She said that extra staff development time also attributed to the gains in math.

"We're learning how to target support," Wright said. Ten of 12 schools were proficient in math.

More specific AYP and Alaska State Assignment scores are scheduled to be discussed at the September School Board meeting.

"It will fill in the rest of the picture," Wright said.

• Contact Greg Skinner at 523-2258, or greg.skinner@juneauempire.com.



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