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Schools Question AYP Data

Schools Challenge Progress

After reviewing Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) data, the School Board’s curriculum and instruction committee is questioning two out of nine schools' results.

On Thursday, Aug. 31, the Virginia Department of Education released preliminary AYP reports. The reports were issued so that Title I schools, schools that offer a high number of free and reduced-price lunches, that had not made AYP for two consecutive years could offer students the opportunity to transfer before the first day of school, Tuesday, Sept. 5. All 10 of Loudoun County’s Title I schools made AYP.

However, nine schools, including Catoctin Elementary in Leesburg, Harper Park Middle in Leesburg, Mercer Middle in Aldie, J. Lupton Simpson Middle in Leesburg, River Bend Middle in Sterling, Seneca Ridge Middle in Sterling, Smart’s Mill Middle in Leesburg, Sterling Middle in Sterling and Loudoun County High School in Leesburg did not make AYP this year — four more schools than last year.

Sterling Middle School did not make AYP for two consecutive years in a row.

Two Sterling elementary schools, Forest Grove and Guilford, have been classified as To Be Determined, meaning they are under review due to discrepancies.

School Board member and curriculum and instruction committee chair J. Warren Geurin (Sterling) said the Forest Grove and Guilford were given this classification because of discrepencies between the Virginia Department of Education and Loudoun County Public Schools numbers of students tested.

"We tested everybody," Geurin said. "The state is uncertain we tested everybody."

Geurin said this might be the case with the other schools in question.

Sharon Ackerman, director of Instruction, said they are appealing Mercer and River Bend middle schools results due to a number of reasons.

As for Forest Grove and Guilford elementary schools, Ackerman's staff sent data in to show they did in fact make AYP.

The division wide AYP rating is also To Be Determined in two areas, Limited English Proficiency and Free and Reduced Lunch, at this time. Ackerman said she sent in data to prove the school system made AYP in Limited English Proficiency.

"We probably did not make AYP in Free and Reduced Lunch," she said.

AS OF NOW, the school system awaits the results of Mercer and River Bend middle schools and Forest Grove and Guilford elementary schools.

Ackerman said she is confident Forest Grove and Mercer middle schools made AYP based on Loudoun County Public Schools data they sent in to the state.

In addition to conflicting data, the preliminary sixth- and seventh-grade math scores across the entire state are much lower than expected and inconsistent with Standards of Learning (SOL) results.

The Virginia Department of Education appointed a committee to review the tests and Loudoun County Public Schools is examining its curriculum to see if adjustments are needed.