Edgerton elementary school misses benchmark
The shortfall came because a subgroup at Community Elementary, students with disabilities, failed to meet minimum state testing standards for yearly progress in reading proficiency, the department reported.
According to Patrick Gasper, a spokesman for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, this is the first time the school has missed the benchmark—a standard that’s tied to the federal No Child Left Behind law and based on yearly academic testing through the Wisconsin Student Assessment System.
Data from state testing last fall showed 47 percent of students with disabilities at Community Elementary met standards in reading, said Lori Van Himbergen, the school district’s director of pupil services.
That’s nearly 30 percent below minimum standards set by the U.S. Department of Education.
At the school, 98 percent of students with disabilities are given the same standardized tests as students without disabilities, Van Himbergen said.
By law, if a subgroup at a school misses the same benchmark two years in a row—in Edgerton Elementary’s case, if students with disabilities fail to meet reading achievement standards in 2010-11—the school is forced to enter a federally mandated school improvement program.
That means that the school would have to:
-- Write a school improvement plan.
-- Offer parents the chance to send their students to a higher-performing school in the district.
-- Meet failed testing benchmarks for two consecutive years.
At Community Elementary, that hasn’t happened yet.
For now, the school can create its own plan to meet its missed reading benchmark. Superintendent Norm Fjelstad said school staff plans to meet this summer to discuss the academic shortfall.
“Since this is the first time this has happened here, we’re getting acquainted with the process. But we’re wiling to cooperate. We want to make sure we deal with this right away,” he said.
Van Himbergen said the district plans to increase inclusion of students with disabilities in mainstream classrooms to better prepare them for standard reading and math requirements.