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Two Norwalk Schools Removed From Watch List

NORWALK, Conn. ? Two more Norwalk schools?West Rocks Middle and Tracey Elementary?have been removed from the No Child Left Behind “In Need of Improvement” list. The move comes as a result of the schools’ improvement on the Connecticut Mastery Test over the past two years. Last year, Cranbury Elementary and Roton Middle School were removed from the list and they stayed off it this year.

“I am so proud of the parents, staff and students,” West Rocks Principal Lynn Moore said at Tuesday night’s Board of Education meeting. “You worked harder and smarter.”

Superintendent Susan Marks recognized eight schools and their principals and assistant principals for making “Adequate Yearly Progress.”

Jefferson, Naramake, Silvermine and Wolfpit elementary schools also made Adequate Yearly Progress this year and have been put on the "Safe Harbor" list. If they make AYP again next year, they'll be removed from the In Need of Improvement list.

The state released its 2011 Adequate Yearly Progress results on Monday. (Click here to see how all Norwalk schools were rated in the state report.) Marks said only a handful of districts across the state had two schools removed from the list this year

The Norwalk school district, as a whole, continues to be on the state’s In Need of Improvement list because of math and reading scores. According to the report, 54 other districts in Connecticut also are not meeting AYP.

Moore made special mention of Carla Mortelliti , a math teacher at West Rocks who died unexpectedly this summer. For 2011, 90.6 percent of the school’s seventh graders are proficient in math, a fact that Moore attributed to the hard work of Mortelliti and her colleagues in the department.

In wrapping up her remarks to the board, Moore reminded them, “We are more than our CMT results.”

Since the No Child Left Behind act was passed in 2001, the government has been using scores from Connecticut Mastery Tests for grades 3 through 8 and the Connecticut Academic Performance Test for grade 10 to assess whether schools have made Adequate Yearly Progress.

There are two ways to make Adequate Yearly Progress. One is for a school to meet the No Child Left Behind target of 90 percent of students reaching proficiency.  (In 2014, 100 percent of students will be required to be proficient). The No Child Left Behind goals have been rising yearly, making it increasingly difficult to meet targets. The standard must be met by the whole school and by each subgroup?low-income, minority and special needs?of 40 or more students.

Alternatively, a school can make Safe Harbor by reducing the number of non-proficient students by 10 percent in a given year  If a school or subgroup does not achieve annual yearly progress for two consecutive years, the school is identified as In Need of Improvement.

You can email Moina Noor at mnoor@mainstreetconnect.us .

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