‘Schools of Distinction’ for academic improvement

Danbury has seven elementary ‘Schools of Distinction’ for academic improvement
Posted on 03/21/2019

Seven elementary schools in Danbury have been named “Schools of Distinction” for the 2017-18 school year by the Connecticut Department of Education. Danbury High School is also no longer identified as a state “focus” school.

According to a recent report that outlines the specifics of a new accountability system, Hayestown Avenue, Mill Ridge Primary, Morris Street, Great Plain, Shelter Rock, Ellsworth Avenue and Western CT Academy of International Studies schools were all noted for their performance and/or growth in student success.

This recognition is given to schools in the top 10 percent of the state for performance and/or growth. The Danbury elementary schools were among the 130 recognized statewide from more than 1,000 Connecticut public schools. Danbury had the highest number of recognized schools, along with the Greenwich district, which also had seven.

Danbury High School has also met goals in academic improvement and growth. As of this year, the high school is no longer being monitored by the state as a “focus” school. Schools on the state’s focus list are monitored for inadequate academic growth among high needs students.

As for the schools of distinction, Shelter Rock showed growth in all five areas and in all students and was named as a high performance and high growth school in ELA and math, and high growth with high needs students also in ELA and math. Hayestown Avenue, Morris Street and Ellsworth were recognized as high growth schools; AIS and Mill Ridge were recognized as high performance schools.

“We are making great strides in our schools that directly impact the learning and the future of our students. The success is due in large part to the dedication of the teachers and administrators in our schools, who have made it their mission to go above and beyond to see our students do better every single day,” said Superintendent Dr. Sal Pascarella. “The fact that students can make such great improvements over such a relatively short period attests to the dedication of our educators.”

Titled “Connecticut’s Next Generation Accountability System,” Department of Education’s standards rely on a broad set of 12 indicators that measure how well a school is preparing students for success in college, careers and life. The new system now moves beyond test scores and graduation rates that, in addition to measuring academic achievement, also focuses on student growth over time.

The second change in the system is that it includes additional key indicators, including academic achievement status measured by new assessments; academic growth; assessment participation rate; chronic absenteeism; and preparation for postsecondary and career readiness – coursework and exams.

The schools will be recognized at the March 27 Board of Education meeting at 7 p.m. at the BOE administrative offices, 63 Beaver Brook Road.