We’re #1: Belmont Schools Earn Top-Ranked Level 1 Status, Butler a ‘Blue Ribbon’ Candidate

Photo: Butler Elementary.

The Belmont School District and its six schools earned the Level 1 Accountability Determination as the district continues to show “the strong, positive results of well-aligned curricula, high-quality instruction, and high expectations for all students,” according to the state’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education which released 2016 accountability data for schools and districts on Monday, Sept. 26.

All schools, and therefore the district, earned the Level 1 Accountability Determination for meeting the gap-narrowing targets for “all students” and the “high needs subgroups.”

“Our students’ performance on the state assessments and growth measures continues to be impressive,” said John Phelan, Belmont Public Schools superintendent, adding that the district earned the Level 1 Accountability determination for meeting the gap-narrowing targets for “all students” and the “high needs subgroups.”

The state’s accountability system sets the goal of narrowing proficiency gaps by half in six years, as measured by the Progress and Performance Index (PPI). 

“High needs” is the unduplicated count of all students belonging to at least one of these three subgroups: 

  • students with disabilities, 
  • English Learner (EL) and former EL students, and 
  • economically disadvantaged students.

Additionally, two Belmont schools received special commendation for their assessment outcomes:

Daniel Butler Elementary School is one of three Massachusetts public schools the U.S. Department of Education is considering as a candidate for the 2016 National Blue Ribbon School Candidate for High Performance. Last year the Butler was commended for High Achievement.

Mary Lee Burbank Elementary School is recommended for High Progress.

Belmont High School earned a Level 1 Accountability Determination, up from a Level 2 from last year because the progress of students in the “high needs” subgroup last year was not sufficient to meet their particular gap narrowing goals. Thanks to their careful analysis of the data and action plan to address the issue, performance of students in the high needs subgroup improved.

“The high school administrators, teachers, and students are to be commended for developing the school’s accountability determination to Level 1 this year,” says Janice Darias, AsstSuperintendent of Belmont Public Schools.

“I extend my gratitude and congratulations to all who worked to support our students’ learning,” she said.

The annual Progress and Performance Index measures a district’s, school’s, or subgroup’s improvement towards its target over a two-year period on up to seven indicators: 

  • narrowing proficiency gaps in English/Language Arts, mathematics, and science; 
  • student growth in English/Language Arts and mathematics; 
  • and the annual dropout rate and graduation rate for high schools. 

Detailed information is available on the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website. Here is the link from the Belmont Public School website that will take you to the information.

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