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Every Student Succeeds (ESSA) Act
Many of you are aware of the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act which requires schools to assess students annually and meet student achievement goals. On December 10, 2015, NCLB was reauthorized and signed into law as the Every Student Succeeds (ESSA) Act. Because ESSA will not go into effect until the 2017-18 school year, federal law requires us to continue to implement NCLB during the 2016-17 school year.
Therefore, if a school was identified as a School In Need of Assistance (SINA) during the 2015-16 school year, the school continues with this identification during the 2016-17 school year. Schools or districts were cited if they a) didn’t meet 95% participation rate for assessments, b) didn’t meet student achievement goals, or c) didn’t meet attendance rates for elementary and middle schools or graduation rates for high school during the 2015-16 school year. I am writing to inform you that Ed-Co continues to be designated as SINA school because of the number of students not meeting their goals in Reading in one or more subgroup.
Because our school continues with this identification during the 2016-17 school year, our district is required by law to offer your student school choice to transfer to another school within the district that has not been designated as a school in need of assistance. In Ed-Co’s case this is not an option as there are no other public elementary schools within the district. We will also be offering supplemental educational services, such as tutoring, to eligible students. An explanation of this process and who is eligible will be sent home with students in a separate letter.
Please know that the SINA designation refers to federal criteria. We remain a fully accredited school in complete compliance with State of Iowa regulations.
How Ed-Co Elementary will improve:
Although we have many indicators that show Ed-Co is offering top-quality education, we know that continuous improvement is important to ensure all of our students are reaching their highest potential. Using data about our students and their achievement, our staff already has begun to identify areas for improvement. Some student groups may require additional instructional interventions, pending a review of our current services and programs. In addition, the Ed-Co Elementary Building Leadership Team will continue to monitor and implement the plan put in place to address our needs.
HOW PARENTS CAN HELP:
Parent support is essential to help your student reach his or her highest academic success, but parents may need ideas about the best way to be involved. A few suggestions include:
- Communicate regularly with your child’s teachers about overall goals for the year and your child’s progress toward those goals.
- Make sure your child attends school regularly. Attendance is important at every grade level. When your child must be absent, please talk with the teacher to coordinate make-up work and assignments.
- Help your child with his or her homework. If you are unable to help, contact the school to request a tutor.
- Volunteer at the school. Every teacher needs volunteers to help in the classroom, or even with projects that can be done in your home. Other areas in the school, such as the office or cafeteria, also need volunteers.
As parents, you can be assured your students continue to receive a high quality education at Ed-Co Elementary. The assessment results cited by NCLB are one useful measurement for us, but we also have many other indicators to demonstrate our students’ achievement. We are very proud of our students and of the education they receive from the staff at Ed-Co Elementary. We also are committed to continuous improvement, and so will continue to seek new data and make any changes necessary to benefit student learning. We appreciate and depend on your ongoing support and assistance, and welcome your suggestions.