Ada Public Schools Superintendent Pat Harrison said he is hopeful Washington Grade Center will make it off a federal needs improvement list following this school year’s tests.
“We met adequate yearly progress this year,” Harrison said.
He said schools who don’t meet that progress two years in a row land on the list and must meet that progress two years in a row to be taken off the list.
“We have to score well again this year to totally get off the list,” he said.
Ada Public Schools Business and Federal Programs Manager Mike Anderson said Washington Grade Center was given an allocation of money funneled through the state from the federal government to help schools on the list improve.
“(Allocations) are made based on poverty levels — free and reduced lunch counts,” he said. “Our four elementary sites are the four sites that qualify for Title I funding.”
He said the additional allocations are supposed to be used on supplemental educational materials and services, such as tutoring, summer school and test remediation.
Anderson said while most schools have to take federal funding from their general budget to allow student transfers to schools not on the list, Washington Grade Center isn’t forced to use its money that way.
“In our district, since we have grade centers, (students) don’t have that option,” he said. “We got a waiver for that and we did not have to set aside money for public school choice.”
He said schools that make the list for two years have to set aside part of their budget for supplemental educational services.
“We avoided that this year because Washington made adequate yearly progress so we’re still looked at as a first-year school,” he said.
Anderson said he believes the additional allocations helped Washington Grade Center to meet adequate yearly progress last year.
“We were able identify certain needs and, based on our school improvement plan, those funds were used to meet those needs,” he said. “Our teachers, students, principal and administrators all worked very hard to do that.”
He said all of Ada Public Schools’ sites were able to make adequate yearly progress during the previous school year.
“We’re always working to try and do better,” Harrison said. He said test results for this school year should be available in July of 2012.
“I would certainly like to think that we’ll be off (the needs improvement list),” he said.