As a result of the Connecticut State Department of Education’s new accountability system, John Read Middle School has been named a school of distinction based on the results of the 2011 and 2012 Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT) scores.
High schools in the state were also named schools of distinction based on the 2011 and 2012 Connecticut Academic Performance Test.
Redding’s middle school was named high-performing in two categories — highest overall performance and highest performing subgroup, students with disabilities.
Dr. Bernard Josefsberg, superintendent for Easton, Redding and Region 9 school districts, said, “As a group, students with Individualized Education Programs typically perform less well on standardized tests than does the general population. The results out of John Read Middle School testify to the hard work of both our students and our staff. It also symbolizes our commitment to nurture each student to the fullest of their capabilities.”
Diane Martin, principal at John Read Middle School, said the ranking “gives credit to all the teachers. Everyone works together. It’s jut teamwork.”
Brian Farrell, director of special services, said the middle school being called a school of distinction is also a reflection of the great work that Redding Elementary School does preparing students for when they come to John Read.
The new accountability system was established after the U.S. Department of Education granted the state a waiver to No Child Left Behind in May 2012.
Instead of naming schools that have low performance scores or are in need of help, the new accountability system recognizes schools of distinction and turnaround schools. Key components to the new system are valuing student achievement across a broader range of performance, integrating all tested subjects, including mathematics, reading, writing and science, and graduation rates.
Schools of distinction will be identified annually and are classified into three different categories — highest performing subgroup, highest progress and highest overall performance.
Schools identified as highest performing subgroup have the highest index scores in the state for each one of the five traditionally underperforming subgroups — students with disabilities, English language learners, black students, Hispanic students, and students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.
Schools identified as highest overall performance have a school performance index (SPI) greater than 88 and are performing within the top 10% of schools across the state. These schools have achievement gaps less than 10 SPI points for the majority of their subgroups, and if they are high schools, they have met their respective graduation rate targets.
Schools in the same district reference group (DRG-A) include Easton, Weston, Wilton, New Canaan, Darien, Ridgefield, Westport, and Region 9 (Joel Barlow High School).
Ridgefield High School and Wilton High School have also been named schools of distinction with highest performing subgroups. Ridgefield’s subgroup is reduced-priced meals and Wilton’s is students with disabilities.
For highest overall performance, Middlesex Middle School in Darien, Helen Keller Middle School in Easton, Saxe Middle School and West School in New Canaan, and Branchville Elementary School, Scotland Elementary School, East Ridge Middle School, Scotts Ridge Middle School and Ridgefield High School in Ridgefield were all named.