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St. Lawrence Central among several identified as Local Assistance Plan School

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BRASHER FALLS - St. Lawrence Central School officials been notified by the state Education Department that they are a Local Assistance Plan School.

But they’re not alone. Other local schools on the list include Norwood-Norfolk Central School, the Ogdensburg City School District and Edwards-Knox Central School.

Schools are identified as LAPs either for failing to make adequate yearly progress for a subgroup for multiple years; having increasing gaps in performance between the subgroup and students not in the subgroup; or having a subgroup performance at or below a cut point.

St. Lawrence Central School Superintendent Stephan J. Vigliotti Sr. said they were identified because of graduation rates from 2010 to 2012.

According to the district’s 2011-12 report card, they had 70 graduates, 61 of whom received a Regents diploma. Four received an Individualized Education Program (IEP) diploma and five students dropped out.

Their 2012-2013 graduating class had 101 seniors cross the stage to receive their diplomas.

Mr. Vigliotti said schools that were “already in the pipeline” with SED were labeled as LAPs.

“They’re going to be revising accountability based on the new standards. New schools were added this year, but they’re revamping the whole classification system,” he said.

The designation requires them to go through a shared decision-making process to see where they currently stand and identify how they will address the graduation rate issue, said Mr. Vigliotti, who took over as school superintendent on July 1.

“Commissioner’s regulations require that each Focus District use the results of a diagnostic tool of quality indicators to inform the creation of a District Comprehensive Improvement Plan,” according to a letter from SED to Mr. Vigliotti.

“We have to develop a plan to address certain areas,” Mr. Vigliotti said, calling the development of the plan “arduous and painstaking.”

“It entails putting together a shared decision-making group that can evaluate the district” and recommend best practices toward school improvement, he said.

“They’ll rate the school district as they see it. Any areas that they see as not highly effective, we have to come up with a plan,” Mr. Vigliotti said.

He said high school Principal Tracy Davison would establish a committee that includes stakeholders at all levels. They will “work through the process,” he said.

The district must complete and forward a “priority school implementation status form” to the state Education Department by Oct. 1. They must also complete a self-review document and report template to identify supports and interventions that will be implemented in the school. That must be approved by the board of education and posted to the district’s website by Nov. 22.

The information they use in their plan may also be used in the development of the district’s strategic plan this year, according to the superintendent. The district’s board of education has approved moving ahead with the strategic plan, which will involve a number of stakeholder groups.

Mr. Vigliotti said that, in addition to addressing their graduation rates, they and other schools are also looking at the results of assessments taken by students in grades three to eight to ensure they’re moving in the right direction toward graduation.

“It’s a matter of SED aligning the whole PK (pre-kindergarten) through 12 system so kids’ progress in certain areas could later be used as a predictor of the likelihood that they will graduate or not graduate,” he said.

The districtsaw just over 60 percent of the students that entered ninth grade in September 2007 graduate within four years.The numbers hav been significantly better over the past two years.

Guidance counselor Dustin Stover previously told the school board the 2008 cohort included 105 students. “The cohort is based on the time when students start their English and social studies classes in grade 9. That cohort changes year to year and month to month as students move in and move out of the district,” he said, noting 19 of the 105 students included in the 2008 cohort had moved out of the district before the end of the 2011-12 school year.

Mr. Stover said 78 percent of the 86 students in the class of 2012 graduated with their classmates in June 2012. He said nine students dropped out of school, three students completed individual education plans, one student will graduate in August and one student will graduate in June 2013.

He said five students in the 2008 cohort earned their general equivalency diplomas, a drop from past years, as school officials worked to convince struggling students to stay in school. School officials also said some of the students counted as drop outs for St. Lawrence Central actually spent very little of their high school careers in the Brasher Falls district.

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