August 30, 2015
Dear Parents and Guardians,
The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), which was passed by the federal government in 2001, requires that all schools’ efficacy be measured annually based on their performance on standardized tests in English and Math. The state of Vermont has set the bar for what adequate student performance on these tests should be, and schools that don’t meet that bar are identified under NCLB as being in need of “improvement” or “restructuring”.
The White River School is in “Title I Year 2 School Improvement” which is the same as we were in the 2014-2015 school year. The Vermont Agency of Education applied for and was granted a waiver by the U.S. Department of Education. This waiver allows us to disregard the assessment results for the accountability purposes in this first year of administration of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. The WRS School Improvement plan that was approved by our HSD Board of Directors last June includes goals for continuous school improvement. This School Improvement Plan will be uploaded to our website: www.wrsvt.com. The White River School submitted a plan to the Vermont Agency of Education last year and we will continue to monitor, revise and implement this School Improvement Plan as appropriate. Please follow this link to find the results of the WRS SBAC results that were administered last May: http://education.vermont.gov/assessment/data
We are committed to continuous school improvement, and to supporting all of our students in their effort to succeed. This is what we strive to achieve every day. But we don’t believe that NCLB effectively measures the quality of our school—what our students know, or what our school and district are doing to support their learning and development. This stance regarding NCLB as a model for measuring school quality is something that the Vermont Agency of Education has also been vocal about, as evidenced by the enclosed copy of a recent public release from the Agency.
Additionally, documents are included regarding Supplemental Education Services (SES). Please review these documents carefully.
This year, we will continue to partner with our District and the Agency of Education to implement a continuous improvement plan for our school that will support the needs of all of our school’s students. We will be reviewing all of our programs as a part of a more comprehensive review of our school’s academic experiences and student supports. As we identify opportunities for parent and family participation in the development and implementation of our improvement plans, we’ll let you know. We hope that you will continue to support our school in these efforts, and we value your involvement.