Danville did not make the amount of yearly progress in reading scores for students with disabilities.
Danville District Assessment Coordinator David Davis said he was baffled at the missed goal and said the district will look at missed marks from across the system and work to improve in the areas as needed.
"We have to try to do better. With No Child Left Behind, you're always faced with a moving target. All of the goals, if we had last year's criteria for this year, we would've hit them. But with the program, that's not the game. You have to keep moving," said Davis.
When districts whose schools receive Title 1 funds do not meet AYP, they face restrictions and regulations. Though Danville made AYP in 2007, its placing from earlier years leaves it as a Tier 3 district for 2008.
Tier 3 status is when a district fails to meet AYP for four years. Danville is now in its second year of Tier 3, making the total years of not making AYP for the district five. To get out of tiered status, it takes consecutive years of making AYP, therefore, despite making AYP last year, Danville remained at Tier 3 for the last school year.
Danville makes plans to solve problem
Davis said a number of plans are under way to satisfy the mandates from the state and to make progress in getting out of tiered status altogether.
"One of the things you have to do if you're in our status is to get assistance, and that's what we've done," explained Davis.
Danville will continue to implement a Voluntary Partnership Assistance Team to aid the district in planning. The team, which includes an achievement gap coordinator and board member from another district, meets with Superintendent Bob Rowland to crunch numbers and reports to the board of education on a regular basis throughout the year.
"That in particular isn't required, and you could go a different way, but we chose to take that step," said Davis.
One of the mandates placed on Danville due to its tiered status is for the district to revise its comprehensive district improvement plan.
According to Davis, that process will take place within the next three months, though many of the changes are already taking effect.
For the next year, Davis said the district will focus on C.I.A. - curriculum, instruction and assessment. Changes in those areas include updating curriculum to align with the revised Kentucky Core Content and creating curriculum maps to determine exactly when certain classes will implement certain lessons. Davis said the maps will better allow coordination among grades throughout the district.
A state-required letter to parents also is being drafted.
"The letter will inform them of our tiered status and will list several ways we're planning on improving the district," said Davis.
Wants more parents involved
He hopes the letter will spark more parental involvement throughout the district. Parents are vital to any future success in Danville schools, he said.
"It's critical that parents serve on councils, school committees, and make themselves visible. You've gotta be involved. If you start early enough, kids won't say anything (negative). I can just think of too many examples where kids get into big trouble, not because parents don't care, but because they're not supervising them closely enough."
Of course, not all is doom and gloom given Danville's tiered status. The results lend the district an opportunity for introspection and praise.
Davis said the information culled from the results should prove valuable and some areas that appear as red flags require more inspection before judgment.
At Bate Middle School, a school that did not achieve AYP, one of the goals not met was for reading among African-American students. Since 2003, that figure, despite not making the state benchmark in 2008, has grown 17.6 percent.
"The gap is closing. When No Child Left Behind began, it was an eye-opener across the country," he said.
In terms of overall improvement, Davis said the bottom line is for Danville schools to continue the path they're traveling, only do so a bit faster.
"What we plan to do is keep on keeping on. We're making incremental gains, yes, but we're going to try to make them more significant, and a little bit quicker."