•  

    Parental Notification Letter Regarding the Continued Status of Program Improvement, Year 5 for Elementary and Middle Schools

    July 22, 2015

    To the Parents/Guardians of students at West Park Elementary School:

    The purpose of this letter is to inform you that our school continues to be identified as a Program Improvement (PI), Year 5 School under the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965, as amended.

    What is PI? The ESEA requires the state and district to review annually the academic progress of federally funded Title I schools and to identify schools in need of improvement. Last year, these schools were identified as PI schools after two consecutive years of not making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). California determined AYP by considering the following three measures:

    1. The percentage of students scoring at the “proficient” or “advanced” level on the California Standards Tests for English-language arts (ELA) and mathematics; and
    2. The percentage of students participating in those tests; and
    3. California’s own accountability measurement of progress, the Academic Performance Index (API).

     

    Why was our school originally identified for PI? The reason for our original identification is that our school did not achieve AYP for two consecutive years (2012-2013 and 2013-2014). The AYP area(s) that caused the identification are:

    • English-language arts
    • Mathematics
    • Academic Performance Index

    The school’s Accountability Progress Reports may be obtained from the school or on the California Department of Education (CDE) AYP Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/ac/ay/.

    What are the changes in PI for the 2014–15 school year?

    On March 7, 2014, the U.S. Department of Education approved California’s testing waiver for certain statutory and regulatory requirements of the Title I, Part A of the ESEA. A one-year waiver was granted that allows flexibility in making AYP determinations for schools and local educational agencies participating in the Smarter Balanced Field Test.

    The CDE will not produce a 2014 AYP Report for elementary and middle schools and elementary and unified school districts. Therefore, the PI status for elementary and middle schools and unified school districts will not change. Elementary and middle schools and unified school districts will not enter or exit PI. However, these schools and districts will continue to implement the PI requirements associated with their current PI status.

    Public school choice: What right does a parent/guardian have to request a transfer to a school that is not in PI?

    All parents/guardians of students attending a PI school have the right to request a transfer of their children to a non-PI district school with district-paid transportation.

    For parents/guardians who select this option, the district will provide transportation to the non-PI school for as long as the home school continues to be identified as a PI school. The number of students who can transfer with paid transportation may be limited by the amount of money available to pay for transportation costs. If there is not enough money available, the lowest-achieving students from low-income families will be given priority. However, you can always request a school transfer to a non-PI school without paid transportation.

    If you are interested in transferring your child or children to a non-PI school in the district for the 2015-2016  school year, please select from the following schools. Your preference of a non-PI school will be taken into consideration. The letter must also provide specific school information, including a description of academic achievement of the school. Include at least two indicators, such as percent of students proficient or above in ELA and mathematics, and the school’s API score. Put these indicators in the context of the state targets.

    List of Non-PI Schools in Area

    School Name

    API

    Score*

    English-language arts

    Percent Proficient or above**

    Mathematics

    Percent Proficient or above**

    James K. Polk Elementary, Central Unified

    870

    62%

    80%

    Valley Preparatory Academy Charter, Fresno Unified

    784

    49%

    54%

    * 800 on the API = Meeting the state’s percent proficient target for schools on the Academic Performance Index

    ** Percentage targets vary by grade span

    For more information about any of these schools, please contact the district at 559-233-6501 You may also go to the district’s Web site at www.westpark.k12.ca.us.org  to obtain information on the number of students who are eligible for and the number of students who participated in public school.

    Supplemental Educational Services: How does a parent/guardian obtain a provider for their child?

    Students from low-income families at continuing PI schools, whose parents/guardians did not select a public school choice option, are eligible for free Supplemental Educational Services (SES). These services are classes or tutoring which occur outside the regular school day with educational providers approved by the State Board of Education. If the number of eligible students who apply for the SES program exceeds the financial resources available, the lowest achieving students from low-income families will receive SES first.

    There are many benefits to your child(ren) receiving free tutoring.

    • He/she receives specific help in ELA, reading and writing or Mathematics
    • The tutoring is provided beyond the regular school day
    • The tutoring is delivered in a one-to-one setting or in small groups
    • A student learning plan will address his/her specific academic needs
    • You, as the parent/guardian, will be consulted in developing your child’s learning plan

    If you are interested in SES, please review the listed provider willing to serve the district.

    Ø  Reading and Beyond, a non-profit organization that has been working with students and parents since 1999 in the Central Valley. Through the years, Reading and beyond has developed a literacy program that has helped thousands of students from Modesto to Bakersfield. These services use Common Core Standards, which are designed to work hand-in-hand with our school to enhance long-term academic and developmental success of the students we serve.

    This information can also be found on our Web site at www.westpark.k12.ca.us.org  Please, complete and return the attached SES application form to the district.  If you need assistance in making a selection of an SES provider(s) for your child(ren), please contact Raul Trejo at 559-233-6501 ext.111

    What will the school do to address the problem of low achievement?

    We are working closely with the district staff to continue to implement, and revise as necessary, our school plan, which includes:

    • Strategies, policies, and practices that utilize scientifically-based research and have the greatest likelihood of ensuring that all groups of students will meet the plan’s achievement targets
    • High quality professional development for school staff that will lead to removing the school from PI status

    ·       Strategies to promote effective parental involvement in the school.

     

    What are the district and state doing to support schools in PI Year 5 Continued Status?

    Our district is working closely with the CDE to improve curriculum, instruction, and student performance. In addition to choice and SES, the school will continue to implement and refine the Alternative Governance Plan ( consideration to convert to become a Charter School).

    How can parents/guardians become involved?

    Research shows that strong parental involvement leads to student success at school. Parents/guardians interested in partnering with the school are encouraged to contact the school for additional information regarding:

    • Parental involvement policies
    • School-parent compact
    • Professional qualifications of your child’s teacher(s)
    • Ongoing parent/community meetings
    • Advisory committee/school site council meetings
    • Parent volunteer opportunities

     

    We will keep you updated and informed about opportunities to discuss plans for our school. If you have questions, need additional information on how you can get involved in our school improvement efforts, or would like to discuss the school’s instructional program and PI status, please feel free to call me and/or visit the school.

    Sincerely,

     

    Ralph G. Vigil 

    Superintendent 

     
     
    Raúl Trejo, Jr. 
     
    Learning Director