New London ranks in top 25%
School board discusses DPI report card
By John Faucher
New London schools are performing well, as identified in the state Department of Public Instruction report card and accountability score.
The New London School Board discussed the report card at its Nov. 25 meeting.
The DPI ranks accountability scores in five levels ranging from Significantly Exceeds Expectations to Fails To Meet Expectations. Scores from 0-100 are calculated by combining a weighted average of four priority area scores.
Weighted averages do not use simple averages. Unlike conventional letter grades, the numeric scores do not reflect a percent correct.
The DPI also provides a five star rating score for each district and individual school.
New London School District as a whole received four stars.
Danielle Sievert, director of teaching and learning, said New London was in the top 25 percent of the state’s 419 school districts.
She said each district is unique and it’s important to vet the data and understand how the state weighs different categories.
The New London school district received an overall score of 78.6, a score that Exceeds Expectations.
In the four priority weight areas New London received a 71.4 in student achievement.
“When we talk about our district goals, we talk about student achievement,” said Sievert.
New London scored high with an 86.8 in closing gaps and a 90.5 in on-track and postsecondary readiness.
“We are really being noted for this. We are doing great for the on track and postsecondary readiness priority area,” said Sievert.
“We are also noted for being a district that has no deductions in any of our schools.”
New London scored a 66 in the DPI’s new district growth priority area.
Sievert discussed the growth priority area as she dug into the scores for each school in the district.
New London High School, New London Intermediate/Middle School and Parkview Elementary schools were all noted as Exceeding Expectations on the DPI report card.
Readfield Elementary School is noted as Significantly Exceeds Expectations.
Lincoln and Sugar Bush Elementary Schools are noted as meeting expectations.
Sievert explained that while Lincoln (75.4) and Sugar Bush (73.9) both Exceed Expectations in student achievement, the new DPI school growth category is weighted in a way that had a negative impact on the overall scores.
She said that the DPI School Growth Scores accounted for 58.1 percent of Lincoln Elementary school’s total score, while only 16.9 percent of the student achievement score was weighted in the overall score.
At Sugar Bush Elementary School Growth Scores accounted for 60.4 percent of the overall score and student achievement was weighted at 14.6 percent in the total.
Sievert said the way testing and school growth is calculated by the DPI puts some of the district’s elementary scores at a disadvantage.
The only students calculated in the growth scores for those buildings are students who were in the district both as third graders and as fourth graders.
“Elementary in our district is at a disservice because we moved fifth grade to the middle school,” said Sievert of the new school growth priority score.
She suggested the state consider reexamining school growth score calculations in the future.