Destin Middle School Makes Adequate Yearly Progress

Destin Middle School’s commitment to each and every student ensured their success in meeting 100% of the state’s criteria for achieving Adequate Yearly Progress for the 2010-11 School Year.

The Federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001 requires states to evaluate the performance of all students in all public schools in order to determine whether schools, school districts, and the state have made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). AYP measurements target the performance and participation of various subgroups based on race or ethnicity, socioeconomic status, disability, and English proficiency. Schools can make an “A” grade but not make AYP.

“You really have to be on your toes to make both the A and the AYP,” said Dr. Diane Kelley, Principal of Destin Middle School. “You are looking at two different grading scales that still use some of the same components so they are alike in some ways and veer off and get different in some ways.”

“The things we do that we believe assist in attaining and maintaining the AYP status include our adult mentor and tutoring programs, student success surveys, and parent conferences,” said Dr. Kelley.

Every adult at Destin Middle School “adopts” at least two fragile students to monitor, encourage, and support throughout the school year. A fragile student is identified as a student having difficulty with grades and/or test scores (FCAT or DEA).

Teachers complete a Student Success Survey and report to Dr. Kelley just before the end of the second semester the practices they individually have in the place to support students. The report includes information on how they monitor their success, how they use DEA results, how they communicate with their parents, and how they will go above and beyond to attempt to reach them.

“The school also holds parent/guidance counselor conferences with parents of potentially failing students, as well as with any who have a dramatic change in behaviors, grades, etc.,” said Kelley. “The purpose of this conference is to get the parents support to ensure the students success.”

In addition to mentoring students, every teacher has posted and advertised office hours and tutoring/assistance hours.

“The media center is open at 7:30, though our classes do not begin for students until 9:00,” said Dr. Kelley. “Our guidance counselor is in the media center after school until 4:30 to assist students. We try to be service-oriented and student-centered in all that we do.”

According to Dr. Kelley, the one thing that makes Destin Middle School standout is the people.

“It is our people that make our school a standout,” said Dr. Kelley. “From our front office staff, our custodians, and certainly our classroom teachers, we just work in concert for the best interest of our students.”

Adequate Yearly Progress Measurement

The data used for the foundation of Adequate Yearly Progress measurement incorporates the assessment results in grades 3-10 from the Florida Comprehensive Achievement Test (FCAT), alternate assessments given to students with disabilities (SWDs), and records showing participation in the Comprehensive English Language Learning Assessment (CELLA) for English language learners (ELLs).

Not making AYP does not mean that a school is failing. It means that the school has not met a certain standard for at least one group of students. These measures include reading, mathematics, writing, science, graduation rate (high schools only) and whether or not the school tested enough students in each group. A school can still make an “A” (at least 525 points made) and not meet AYP.

The more rigorous measures for AYP include 8 subgroups of students: White, Black, Hispanic, Asian, American Indian, Economically Disadvantaged, English Language Learners, and Students with Disabilities.

The 8 Categories that must be met with proficiency by each of the subgroups listed in the bullet above are these: Percent of students at Level 3 (“proficient”) or higher in Math, Percent of students at Level 3 (“proficient”) or higher in Reading, Percent meeting the Writing standard, Percent proficient in Science, Percent making learning gains in Reading, Percent making learning gains in Math, Percent of lowest 25% making learning gains in Reading, and Percent of lowest 25% making learning gains in Math.

A Florida public school or district will make AYP if the following criteria are met:

  • Participation: At least 95% of all students enrolled in a public school participate in the state assessment program.
  • Reading Proficiency: The state has set annual objectives for reading proficiency based on the ultimate goal to have 100% of all students proficient in reading by 2013-14. For 2009-10, the state objective is to have at least 79% of all students and each subgroup reading at or above grade level. For purposes of AYP determination, students scoring at level 3 and above on the FCAT or at level 4 and above on the Florida Alternate Assessment are considered proficient.
  • Math Proficiency: The state has also set annual objectives for math proficiency based on the ultimate goal to have 100% of all students proficient in math by 2013-14. For 2009-10, the state objective is to have at least 80% of all students and each subgroup scoring at or above grade level in math. For purposes of AYP determination, students scoring at level 3 and above on the FCAT or at level 4 and above on the Florida Alternate Assessment are considered proficient.

The goal of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act is to have 100 percent of students proficient by 2013-14.