District improvement letter, year 2-3


November 10, 2013

Dear Parent/Guardian and Patrons,

The federal education legislation, No Child Left Behind, requires that 100% of students in grades 3-8, and 11 be proficient on reading and mathematics academic standards by 2014 as assessed on the Nebraska State Assessments (NeSA). Schools are expected to make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) toward that goal in order to achieve a "met" status. If a school does not meet the state goal two years in a row, in the same subject and in all subgroups, they are identified as "In Need of Improvement". A school can be removed from School Improvement Status after all subgroups meet the AYP goals for two consecutive years.

The Grand Island Public Schools is dedicated to providing all students with a quality education that prepares them to be career and college ready. Evidence of our commitment to education is shown in the academic growth for both reading and mathematics as documented on the 2012-13 assessment results. GIPS improved the percent of students proficient in 34 student groups in Reading and 39 student groups in Math. If you would like to compare achievement scores in the district to others across the state, you may access the information on the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) State of the School Report at http://reportcard.education.ne.gov.

The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act requires each school identified for Title I School Improvement to offer public school choice to all students who attend that school. Parents have the option to send their children to another attendance center the next school year and may receive transportation. If you would like more information about transferring your child to another school, you may contact the Director of Student and Support Services at (308) 385-5900. You may also contact the school administrator if you have any additional questions.

Schools identified as in needs improvement for year two or more are required to offer Supplemental Education Services (SES) to all students who do not opt for transfer to higher performing school and are eligible for free and/or reduced lunch. A list of providers is provided on the NDE website here. These services are to be offered outside of the regular school day to provide all children the opportunity to reach proficiency standards.

All students benefit greatly from parents being involved in many ways. Asking questions, having students read, setting aside a time and place for homework, volunteering, and attending parent conferences are only a few things that you can do. Your child's teacher can give you additional strategies to work on at home. Student achievement is a partnership between school and home and a strong partnership has been proven to be effective in helping student achievement.

As a district, we will continue to focus on maximizing learning opportunities for all students through intentional, research based, teaching and learning practices. Every school engages in a school improvement process to assess areas of growth and defines specific actions to address the needs of the learners. It is the mission for GIPS for Every Student, Every Day, A Success.

If you have any questions regarding this information, please feel free to contact me.

Sincerely,

Toni Palmer