No SWC conference school met AYP goal

Some Nebraska schools made adequate yearly progress (AYP) under federal “No Child Left Behind” legislation but most did not.

No districts in the Southwest Conference, of which Gothenburg Public Schools is a member, and only one in an array of schools the local district compares itself to demographically met AYP goals.

District 20 curriculum director and junior high principal Ryan Groene said Wahoo was the only district in the 21 array schools that met AYP in 2012 and 2013.

Groene discussed the results at a school board Monday night.

The information is from the Nebraska Department of Education in a 2012-13 State of the Schools report.

Of the SWC schools, only Gothenburg and Valentine met AYP last year, based on NeSA tests taken by students in reading, math, writing and science, and none this year.

Gothenburg did not meet AYP in reading and math and will not next year when schools across the country are expected to show 100% student proficiency.

The 2013 goal was between 80% to 90% proficiency. In 2012, when District 20 met AYP, 70% to 80% proficiency was expected.

“The latter was more realistic,” Groene said.

District 20 exceeded proficiency goals in NeSA scores under Nebraska State Accountability in all subjects except writing when compared to average scores of schools across the state.

Throughout the rest of the year, he said teachers will focus on improving instruction to raise assessment scores, especially in reading.

Last year’s eighth grade showed a 34% reading proficiency.

Groene said schools are given five years to reach AYP and if they don’t, the state will intercede and could allow students to transfer to other schools, change administrator positions and more.

However those measures are not likely as Common Core standards, with a focus on English and math, may be adopted by then.

The State of the Schools report can be accessed on the NDE website at

On another matter, the board discussed the district’s policy on identification of learners with high ability.

Board member Amber Burge, serves on a committee to revise the policy, said some changes have been recommended, noting that MAPS assessments are now used to identify high-ability learners instead of the ITBS test in grades four through eight.

Students meeting three, instead of four criteria, is also recommended.

The board will act on the policy at the Nov. 11 meeting.

In other action, the board:

approved an option enrollment request of 11th grader Kimberly Luong into the district from Cozad and an option-out request from senior Amber Bartels and ninth grader Sarah Redding to Cozad.

heard the annual special education report. The district provides services to 10 children, from birth to age 5, and to 87 students from kindergarten to 21 years old.

learned that the north gym floor project is completed and that north and south gym basketball goals and support structures will be inspected and adjusted later this month. Concrete has also been poured around the entry of the shot put ring.

found out that 95% of Dudley Elementary parents attended parent-teacher conferences and 58% (a drop of 19% from the previous year) of junior and senior high school parents. High school activities scheduled the evening of Sept. 19 may have hurt attendance, principal Randy Evans said.

were informed that Gothenburg will host a D1-11 subdistrict basketball tournament.

were told that the FFA will sponsor a blood drive at the school on Nov. 1.

tabled an agenda item about the Safe Schools and Crisis Team manuals.

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