Relating Key Messages About AYP
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Framing the NCLB Issue
· Educators support the concept of the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act and will comply with this new law.
· We will continue to support Colorado’s tradition of high academic standards and continuous school improvement while implementing NCLB because we believe that all children can learn.
· Having high expectations for our students is not new. But the achievement gains expected of students are different under this new federal law.
· NCLB is a 1,000+ page legal document and ramifications aren't fully known. Updates/links will be available on our district's Web site.
Facts about the AYP Release
· AYP Reports required by NCLB are scheduled to be released by schools in December 2003.
· AYP is calculated using Colorado CSAP tests in reading and math.
· AYP is measured based on the progress of schools and districts, along with the progress of subgroups of students. If any subgroup in a school does not meet AYP target goals, the school will not make AYP.
· AYP reports will tell if Title I schools have/have not met AYP. Information regarding the actions required of schools that did not make AYP will be communicated to districts and schools affected.
· Title I schools that are placed on Improvement must develop an Improvement Plan. Among other things, the plan must address the areas in which they have not made AYP. For example, in reading or math, or if a specific subgroup failed to reach a performance target, the plan must address that group.
Key Messages for Release of AYP
· Colorado is a national leader in setting high achievement standards for its students. Our school board and the staff in this district are committed to the highest levels of achievement for all students.
· Colorado has three types of accountability systems for K-12 public education, each designed to inform the public about how well schools perform and how much students are learning. Each system provides a picture of how schools are doing from a different perspective – much like a physician monitors your health using different measurements (i.e. testing your reflexes, checking your heart beat, and taking your temperature).
· AYP is based on CSAP test results, but our students are learning much more than what's measured on a single test on a single day.
· We have district and building plans to address improved student achievement.
· We're addressing the new NCLB requirements while we continue to do what's best for students.
· We'll use all the resources available to us to help our students achieve.
· We can't do this alone. Maintaining high quality schools is a job for the entire community. We need your help in reaching these goals.
· We want parent and community input. Contact your building principal to get involved.
Communication Strategies for AYP Release
· Take control of your communication early.
· Identify your target audiences (including staff, parents, community and the media).
· Avoid making district comparisons. (Don't brag if you met AYP. Don't make excuses if you didn't. Things can change quickly in the next AYP release.)
· Avoid making building comparisons. Each has its strengths and challenges. Remember to note that school improvement is districtwide and building specific.
· Be proactive. Tell your story first.
o This is how we're going to use the AYP report to be even better.
o Here are the challenges/opportunities we face (include subgroups).
o Here are the places we excel including our strengths and points of pride.
o This is where we're going with the community's support.
· Inform school employees, teachers associations, accountability committees, parent-teacher organizations, boosters and other members of the school family so they can help carry the message.
· Remind school employees they are the most important public relations ambassadors for schools.
· Use your district's communication vehicles to reach audiences, including newsletters, memos, notes, e-mail, lunch menus, parent-teacher conferences, open houses, school productions, key communicators, town hall meetings, Web site, cable TV, unions, accountability committees, parent groups, and staff meetings.
· Always include a contact number or e-mail address where people can get more information.
· Provide regular reports at your board meetings.
· Invite the community in to "see for themselves" what our children are learning.