Peninsula schools get report card, failing


PJ Kezele, KP News

Vaughn Elementary is one of 12 schools in the Peninsula School District that did not meet Adequate Yearly Progress goals. Students at Vaughn and Minter Creek Elementary will have the option to enroll at Evergreen Elementary School. Photo by Karina Whitmarsh, KP News

Twelve of 16 schools in Peninsula School District did not meet their Adequate Yearly Progress goal, including Key Peninsula Middle School, Vaughn Elementary, Minter Creek Elementary and Peninsula High School. Evergreen Elementary is the only Key Peninsula school that met the goal.

Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, schools that have not made AYP for two consecutive years must put a school improvement plan in place and students have the option to transfer to better performing schools in their district, an option called public school choice. However, NCLB requires that priority be given to low-achieving children from low-income families.

"Families have the option of transferring their child to another public school within the district that is not in School Improvement, and the district provides transportation," said Sarah Drinkwater, executive director for student services. "For Vaughn and Minter Creek families, the closest school not in School Improvement is Evergreen Elementary, so the district is offering enrollment at Evergreen."

As a component of NCLB, school districts are required to notify parents/guardians when schools their children attend have not made AYP goals for two consecutive years and are in school improvement.

According to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, this notification must be given to parents no later than the first day of the school year following such identification.

Since Vaughn Elementary and Minter Creek Elementary have not met AYP for two consecutive years in the same subject, they now enter Step 1, which requires development of a school improvement plan and the option for students to attend another school within the district that is not in school improvement. The only other elementary school in the district, besides Evergreen, that met AYP was Voyager Elementary, across from Kopachuck State Park.

The only middle school that met the progress goal was Goodman Middle School, and the only high school to meet their AYP goal was Henderson Bay Alternative High School.

Key Peninsula Middle School is in Step 2, which means they did not make AYP after being in Step 1. In addition to the public school choice requirement, the school must now offer and fund supplemental educational services, such as tutoring or remediation.

If they do not make the grade after Step 3, according to the OSPI, the school must plan for alternative governance, including replacing school staff and/or the principal, entering into a contract with an outside entity to operate the school or other restructuring activities.

Once a child has transferred to another school through the school choice option, the school district must permit the child to remain in that school until the child has completed the highest grade in that school. However, the obligation to provide or pay for transportation for the child ends at the end of the school year if the school from which the child transferred is no longer identified for school improvement.

The public school choice option only applies to Title I schools, which includes all Peninsula schools. Title I schools must have at least 40 percent of the students from low-income families, such as those who qualify for free/reduced lunch. Districts and schools that receive Title I funds face a series of escalating consequences until they meet AYP criteria for two consecutive years. Districts must use up to 20 percent of their Title I, Part A budget to fund public school choice, including transportation costs, and supplemental education services to low-achieving students who are considered low-income.