Garrett County schools perform well on new state report card

From The Garrett County Republican

OAKLAND — The Maryland State Department of Education released a new accountability report card for every school in the state of Maryland last week, designed to measure the success of schools and identify areas for improvement.

The report card was developed in response to the requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act, a federal law that seeks to ensure public schools provide a quality education for all children.

The Maryland Report Card is designed to measure school success in several ways, including state tests in English language arts and math; postsecondary readiness; progress of English learners in achieving English language proficiency; graduation rate; and students with access to and earning credit for a well-rounded curriculum.

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MSDE Releases HSA, AYP Results For Garrett County

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Oct. 14, 2010

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) recently released system level results regarding High School Assessment (HSA) and Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). MSDE released Maryland School Assessment (MSA) and AYP results concerning elementary and middle schools in July.

Combining MSA and HSA, the Garrett County school system met AYP requirements by meeting the Annual Measurable Objective (AMO) in all subgroups. In order to meet the federal guidelines of No Child Left Behind, students in specified subgroups, including racial/ethnic classifications, students eligible for free or reduced price meals, and students with special needs must also meet the AYP goals. Of the 15 schools in Garrett County, 14 schools made AYP for the 2009-10 school year.

With the release of the high school data, one of two high schools made AYP status. Northern High School made AYP, indicating that a significant number of students scored at the proficient and/or advanced levels in all nine subgroups in the reading and mathematics areas, including graduation rate, on the High School Assessments and Alternate Maryland School Assessment. Southern High School did not make AYP status, but met success in eight of nine categories, including graduation rate. SHS did not attain proficiency in English/reading for students in the special education area. Thus, Southern High School will be on a “local alert” status for improvement in the 2010-11 school year, but will not appear on the MSDE’s list of schools needing improvement.

For the graduating class of 2010, 100% of the students met the HSA high school graduation requirement throughout the county by either passing all four subject tests reaching a combined score of 1602 on all four tests or by completing bridge plan projects in the various subjects. Other data concerning High School Assessments are as follows:

•94.7% of the students met the HSA algebra requirement by passing the assessment or completing bridge plan projects,

•97.2% of the students met the HSA biology requirement,

•87.9% of the students met the HSA English requirement,

•93.2% of the students met the HSA government requirement.

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All Garrett County Schools Achieve Adequate Yearly Progress On MSAs

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Jul. 22, 2010

The Maryland State Department of Education recently released system level results regarding Maryland School Assessment (MSA) and Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). Results show that all Garrett County elementary and middle schools achieved AYP. This indicates that a significant number of students scored at the proficient and advanced levels in reading and mathematics on the MSA and Alternate MSA.

This also shows that no schools in Garrett County have been identified by the MSDE as needing improvement. As well as the overall population, in order to meet the federal guidelines of No Child Left Behind, students in specified subgroups, including racial/ethnic classifications, students eligible for free or reduced price meals, and students with special needs must also meet the AYP goals. According to the test results, all of these groups of students in Garrett County successfully met their goals.

“The [Board of Education] members and I are so proud of our students, teachers, staff, principals, and central office administrators for this outstanding performance,” said Dr. Wendell Teets, superintendent of GC schools. “Our students [lost] to snow 17 days of instruction immediately before the MSA testing, and still every school made AYP with no school in any type of improvement status.”

MSA math scores at all elementary and middle school grade levels improved in 2010 compared to 2009 results. Math at the 8th grade level had a 10.4% gain from last year, which is recorded as the biggest improvement at any level. Seventh grade tests had 90.4% of the students scoring proficient/advanced. All other grade levels scored in the 80% to 88% proficient range on the MSA math exam.

In reading, grades 4, 6, and 8 improved in 2010 compared to 2009, with grade 8 having the largest percentage gain of 13.8%. In grades 3, 5, and 7 scores dropped by less than 2 percentage points from last year. Grades 4, 5, and 6 had more than 90% of the students scoring proficient/advanced in reading.

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MSDE Allocates $2.8 Million To State Schools

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Jul. 1, 2010

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) announced that 207 schools across the state, including eight in Garrett County, will share $2.8 million in state funds to participate in the Maryland Meals for Achievement (MMFA) classroom breakfast program during the 2010-2011 school year. The Garrett County schools include Accident, Crellin, Dennett Road, Friendsville, Grantsville, Kitzmiller, and Yough Glades elementary schools, and Bloomington School.
“The importance of good nutrition has recently gained national attention. Maryland Meals for Achievement is an easy, inexpensive way to fuel students’ minds for academic success. Students who participate in the in-classroom breakfast program have fewer health issues and improved concentration, behave better in class, and score higher on standardized tests,” said state superintendent of schools Nancy S. Grasmick.

In addition to academic benefits, breakfast has health benefits as well. Eating breakfast has been shown to reduce the risk of obesity. One study found that adolescents who eat breakfast tend to have a lower body mass index than those who do not eat breakfast. Other studies found that students who eat breakfast consume more essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals such as calcium, dietary fiber, and protein.

With the school breakfast program, students have the opportunity to eat school breakfast in their classrooms, and breakfast is incorporated into the academic day. Students do not pay for the meal, regardless of family income. Schools with MMFA have an average daily breakfast participation of 70 percent compared to schools without the program, which serve a traditional cafeteria breakfast and have an average daily breakfast participation of 10 percent.

There are efforts under way to increase breakfast participation in all Maryland schools, according to Grasmick. The school breakfast program is one of several nutrition programs included in the Governor’s Partnership to End Childhood Hunger in Maryland. This partnership seeks to eliminate childhood hunger by 2015, a goal that is consistent with President Obama’s efforts.

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