Area schools get report cards from state

Krystle Wagner • Jul 21, 2015 at 2:58 PM

On Wednesday, the Michigan Department of Education released the 2014 Top-to-Bottom rankings for 2,757 state schools. The department also gave color-coded School Accountability Scorecards that varied from green, lime, yellow, orange and red. 


Green signifies most goals were met, while red denotes few objectives were achieved.


The report also highlighted schools based on performance. The bottom five percent of schools are labeled as Priority Schools. Schools with the largest within-school achievement gap between the top 30 percent and bottom 30 percent of students are Focus Schools. Schools with the highest improvement, performance or determined as “beating the odds,” are labeled as Reward Schools.


Fruitport Community Schools Superintendent Bob Syzmoniak said more goes into what makes a good school beyond what is factored into the state’s ranking. 


Syzmoniak said the report doesn’t take into account the initiatives implemented and the time it takes.


The Fruitport district received a yellow scorecard, meaning at least 60 percent of goals were achieved. All schools in the district also received yellow scores, while Shettler Elementary School received a lime score and Alternative Education received a red score.


Schools throughout the district declined in the top-to-bottom ranking, except Fruitport High School. Syzmoniak said they’ll look into why some schools dropped.


Syzmoniak attributed the high school’s 22 percent increase to staff placing an emphasis on literacy. The school’s ACT and MME results also rose during the 2013-14 school year.


As staff prepares for this fall, employees are organizing professional learning communities. Teachers in similar subjects or grades will look at assessments as a group and make changes to their instruction.


Top-to-bottom ranking scores throughout Grand Haven Area Public Schools mostly increased since last year.


Mary Jane Evink, GHAPS’ instructional services director, said she was pleased with the improvement and success.


For the first time, the district has four Reward Schools: Grand Haven High School, and Mary A. White, Peach Plains and Rosy Mound elementary schools.


Evink attributed the district’s success in part to intentional focus on identifying and helping struggling students through interventions.


Although most schools’ rankings increased, Lake Hills Elementary School fell 18 percent. The school was also identified as a Focus School.


Evink said staff has met for team building, and is diving into data to develop action plans for the upcoming year. She said staff knows what needs to be done, and they are passionate about change.


“There’s no doubt in our minds this will be done,” she said.


Overall, Grand Haven Area Public Schools received a yellow scorecard.


To read more of this story, see today's print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.



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