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Mixed news on AYP at Kaneland

High school meets standard for first time since 2008, but some others fall short

Published: Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

MAPLE PARK – Kaneland High School met Adequate Yearly Progress standards for the first time since 2008, but the overall news on AYP was mixed in District 302.

John Stewart Elementary, for instance, met the standards after missing last year, but because the Elburn school receives Title 1 funding, it still must offer a choice for students to attend another school in the district that has met the standards. Once a school is in a status in which it offers choice, it must meet standards for two consecutive years before it is out of that status.

But since both Blackberry Creek and McDole elementary schools did not meet the standards this year, the district must offer choice for Stewart families to its only elementary school that did – John Shields Elementary in Sugar Grove. McDole and Shields will not have to offer a choice, since they met standards last year and are not in such a status.

Also, Harter Middle School is in its second year of academic warning.

Adequate Yearly Progress sets goals that require schools to reach performance targets in reading and math, not only in their entire population but also in subgroups. A subgroup is considered if there are at least 45 students meeting the description. For instance, some subgroups at some district schools are “economically disadvantaged,” “students with disabilities” and “Hispanic” students. 

District 302 Superintendent Jeff Schuler said he is pleased that Kaneland High School and John Stewart met the standards. He said the schools had worked to improve. In particular, the high school shifted to an eight-period day and added new intervention services. 

“I absolutely feel good about the fact that two buildings that certainly needed to improve set in place a plan to improve” and met the standards, Schuler said.

But Schuler said the standards in place for the school year that has just begun, 2013-14, will feature a standard that will be “impossible” to meet – 100 percent.

“I would say it’s an impossible task,” Schuler said. “It’s a standard that is not going to be met.”

Those that will meet standards likely will do so under the safe harbor provision, Schuler said. In that provision, schools can make AYP if a subgroup improves on the previous year’s performance by 10 percent and if it failed the previous year.

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