West Haven Public Schools Next Generation Accountability System
West Haven Public Schools Next Generation Accountability System
Posted on 03/30/2016
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By Dr. Nicole Danishevsky, District Math Coordinator

WEST HAVEN, March 28, 2016 — The State Department of Education recently released Connecticut’s Next Generation Accountability System to school districts.  The report provides performance ratings for the district, as well as each individual school.  The Next Generation Accountability System provides districts with a comprehensive rating of how schools and the district are preparing students for college and career readiness.  The Next Generation Accountability System provides performance ratings on 12 indicators to both schools and districts.  The indicators used are:  academic achievement measured by state assessments in English Language Arts, Math and Science for all students and students in the high needs subgroup; academic growth in English Language Arts and mathematics for all students and students in the high needs subgroup; assessment participation rate; chronic absenteeism of all students and high needs subgroup; preparation for college and career readiness through coursework and also through exams; the number of high school freshmen on track to graduate; the four-year graduation rate; the six-year graduation rate for high needs students; postsecondary entrance rate; physical fitness, and access to arts.  The high needs students are defined as students with disabilities, English learners and students receiving free/reduced lunches. 

Two of West Haven Public Schools were recognized by the State Department of Education based on the 2014-2015 school year test results and the Next Generation Accountability System Performance Ratings.  Forest Elementary School and Edith E. Mackrille Elementary School were recognized by the State Department of Education because their high-needs subgroup of students performed significantly higher than the district performance in both English Language Arts and mathematics.  This is the second time this year that West Haven is being recognized for closing the achievement gap.  Previously, West Haven was recognized as a “standout district” by ConnCan, The Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now, during the fall of 2015.  As a result of the 2015 standardized test scores in both English Language Arts and mathematics, ConnCan recognized West Haven for closing the achievement gap of Hispanic/Latino and black students. 

West Haven is not only being recognized for closing the achievement gap in two of the nine schools, but one school was also recognized by the State Department of Education as a “School of Distinction.”  Edith E. Mackrille Elementary School was one of 84 schools recognized as a “School of Distinction” for the highest performing subgroup. This honor appointed to Edith E. Mackrille Elementary School acknowledges the academic performance of students in the high needs subgroup was in the top 10% of the state performance.  

District administrators state that the special recognition from the State Department of Education for Forest and Mackrille, along with the individual school performance rating reports, is evidence that West Haven Schools are closing the achievement gap.  Significant progress has been made in the district’s schools relative to the performance of all students, as well as the performance of students in the high needs subgroup, in English Language Arts, mathematics and science.  “We know our students have been making great strides, based on our own assessments and students’ classroom work. The state’s Next Generation Accountability Report is further validation that all the resources we have put into place will continue providing West Haven’s youngsters with an education that sets them up for a successful and fulfilling future in school and after graduation,” Assistant Superintendent Dr. Anne Druzolowski said. “This is a testament to the work ethic and commitment to education demonstrated by both our teachers and students. We also congratulate Forest and Mackrille for earning special acknowledgement from the state.”

It all goes to show the curriculum changes implemented four years ago in the district, as well as support services, are benefiting all students. West Haven has expanded academic opportunities for students and families both during and after school.  In addition, West Haven maintains a focused professional development system that is aligned to district and school goals of increasing student achievement in all academic areas. 

Superintendent of Schools Neil C. Cavallaro anticipates seeing improvement among all district students from a domino effect of the recently implemented all-day kindergarten program.  “Moving to a full-day kindergarten schedule has given students more time to receive extra assistance and overcome struggles they are having in academic subjects or classroom skills,” Cavallaro said. “That means they will be better prepared as they advance to first grade and beyond. As we’ve said before, early intervention is key.” West Haven continues to have high expectations for all students and provide students with a rigorous curriculum filled with opportunities for students to extend and apply their learning to real world situations.