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Over half of NH school districts identified as in need of improvement

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Last Friday, April 8th, commissioner Virginia Barry, Ph. D. announced the release of 2011 Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) reports for New Hampshire schools and school districts. Of the 469 school AYP reports released, 131 schools (28%) made AYP in all areas measured and 327 (70%) did not make AYP in one or more areas. In addition, fourteen high schools missed the Graduation Rate target of 80%. Eleven of the 469 schools are receiving a small-school designation until AYP can be calculated. By subject area, 197 made AYP in reading, and 166 made AYP in mathematics.

To calculate AYP at the district level, student data is aggregated by grade span groupings: elementary/middle (grades 3-8) and high school (grade 11), and then compared to the performance targets in reading and mathematics. For the district to receive a negative AYP designation, both grade span groups must fail to make AYP in the same content area. Districts not making AYP for two consecutive years in the same content area are identified as districts in need of improvement.

Twenty-four new districts are preliminarily identified as in need of improvement, increasing the number of districts in need of improvement to 87 (54%). In accordance with state and federal law, schools and districts identified as in need of improvement must develop plans focused on the area(s) which caused the designation.

On a positive note, 11 schools in need of improvement made AYP for the second consecutive year, and therefore exited improvement status. These schools are: Bridgewater-Hebron Elementary, Captain Douglass Academy (Brookline), Danbury Elementary, Gilsum Elementary, Lakeway Elementary (Littleton), Lisbon Regional Middle School, Loudon Elementary, Penacook Elementary, Symonds Elementary (Keene), Westmoreland Elementary and Woodsville Elementary.

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