Frewsburg School Board Reviews ESSA Performance

The Frewsburg Central School Board of Education reviewed the school district’s performance under the new standards of the Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA. P-J file photo by Jordan W. Patterson

FREWSBURG – New standards under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) prompted the Frewsburg Central School Board of Education to review its performance.

At Thursday’s regular meeting, Danielle Patti, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, presented to the board the results from the first year under ESSA.

The new initiative serves as an accountability system with new indicators and determinations that the state Education Department, in compliance with ESSA, uses to monitor the performances of school districts and individual school districts. ESSA monitors a variety of trends including graduations rates, improvements in specific areas among certain student subgroups and 3-8 English Language Arts and math participation rates.

Announced in January, SED identified 106 target school districts, 245 schools for Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) and 125 schools for Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI).

Frewsburg was identified as a school district within good standing.

“That means we are not on a list. We have not been identified as a district that needs extra support at this point,” Patti told the board.

The district’s graduation rate decreased to 81% in 2018, down from 90% in 2017. The 2014 cohort totalled 59 students, a decreased from the 60 students in the 2013 cohort. The percentage of students who graduated with advanced placements increased from 27% to 31%; those with a regents diploma decreased from 55% to 42%; and those with a local diploma remained flat at 8%. The district’s dropout rate increased from 7% to 8%. The percentage of students who didn’t graduate and are still enrolled increased from 3% to 7%.

Shelly O’Boyle, Frewsburg superintendent, said the district will take a “deep dive” this summer on what the district can do to intervene before students drop out. O’Boyle suggested potentially have students who are considering dropping out meet with school staff members more regularly and even calling home to parents for consultation regarding those students.

“There are things, like processes, that we can put into place,” O’Boyle reassured the board of addressing students dropping out of school.

O’Boyle said specific goals regarding graduation rates will be developed this year to address the district’s dropout rates. While a small number, O’Boyle and the board agreed the rate should nonetheless be addressed.

For student participation in ELA testing, schools are required to have a 95% participation rate. Frewsburg’s participation rate in ELA testing for the 2018-19 school year was 89.1%. ELA math testing participation rate for the current school year was 88.1%. If the district remains under 95% for a sustained period of time, a participation plan will be required by the state to be developed by Frewsburg.

In other news, several Frewsburg personnel members were approved for tenured positions during the meeting. The list of approved tenured employees included Katrina Abbott, teacher assistant; Sierra Beaver, social studies teacher; Debra Cline, reading teacher; Lynda Grey, general special education teacher; Stephanie Halbohm, ESL teacher; Joseph Jagoda, mathematics teacher; Lynn Kutshke, general special education teacher; Trisha Sisson, teaching assistant; Emily Spielman, school media specialist; and Amy Thompson, social studies teacher.

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