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3000 Series - Educational Programs » 3420 Student Accountability Standards

3420 Student Accountability Standards

Wilkes County Schools has a rich history of providing strong educational opportunities for its students. The standards set by the school system and expected by the community have long sufficed in providing a gauge by which to judge the success of our students. Nevertheless, there are students who, for any number of reasons, fail to meet the standards that are expected of them. In conjunction with the State of North Carolina, Wilkes County Schools is setting accountability standards that will help ensure student academic success.
 
The purpose of these accountability standards is to enable our educators to identify students who may need additional help attaining the skills necessary for success at the next level in the educational process. While the expectations for student success remain high, strategies for those in need of help are in place so that all students are prepared for the next level of schooling.
 
From the beginning, we must acknowledge that a team effort is needed to ensure student success. Each student must take responsibility for his/her learning. Each parent must provide the support needed at home that allows the student to be ready to learn and reinforces the learning activities from school. Each educator must provide a learning environment that enables students to succeed and challenges students to excel. With these components in place and with accountability standards that include intervention strategies for students in need, Wilkes County Schools will see even greater success rates for all of its students.
 
K-2 Local Promotion Standards
 
Teachers will use on-going, individualized assessments in literacy and mathematics to document student progress throughout the year. Semi-annual grade level assessments will be used to monitor achievement of benchmarks, and summative assessments in literacy and mathematics will be administered at the end of the school year. Teachers and administrators will identify students not performing at grade level throughout the year. Students will be expected to meet the locally developed K-2 Promotion Standards. Parents will be notified in writing of the grade level expectations and promotion standards during the first two weeks of school. Parents will also be notified of concerns and the strategies recommended for improving the student’s performance throughout the school year. Remediation will be provided, and teachers will document intervention strategies. Promotion/retention decisions will be based on teacher/principal recommendation. No appeals process is available to K-2 students. The principal will make the final grade placement decision. Students will be retained no more than twice in grades K-5.
 
3-5 Local Promotion Standards
 
Students in grades 3-5 must achieve a passing score on the reading and mathematics end-of-grade tests. Students in grade 5 must achieve a passing score on the science end-of-grade test. Students must also meet grade level expectations for classroom performance and attendance. Performance on state developed common exams will also be considered in promotion decisions. Teachers will use formative, benchmark, and summative assessment information in regards to promotion decisions. Students will be retained no more than twice in grades K-5. The principal will make the final grade placement decision. In accordance with the Excellent Public Schools Act Section 115C-83.1G Elimination of social promotion, third grade students are required to demonstrate grade level reading proficiency on a State-approved standardized test of reading comprehension. The superintendent shall determine whether a student may be exempt from mandatory retention on the basis of a good cause exemption as outlined in the statute.
 
Intervention Strategies
 
The classroom teacher will closely monitor student performance and will identify students who may be in danger of retention. The identification process will be based primarily on three factors: student’s performance on assignments, students who scored at level I or II on the end-of-grade tests in the previous year, student’s performance on quarterly assessments administered by the teacher. Parents will be notified in writing if/when a teacher determines that their child is at risk for retention. Remedial opportunities will be provided.
 
Remediation can occur during the school day, before or after school, on Saturdays, and/or during the summer. Teachers and tutors must document remedial opportunities and sessions. Current school plans such as School Improvement Plan, Title 1 Plan, etc will describe the intervention and remediation strategies the school will implement during that school year. These plans are submitted to the superintendent and the associate superintendent for curriculum and instruction for approval.
 
Response to Instruction (RtI) Tier 1 or 2 paperwork will be written for each child identified as at-risk of not meeting promotion standards no later than the twentieth day following enrollment in school. The RtI documentation will consist of the following components:
 
1. Diagnostic evaluation information
2. Specific intervention strategies
3. Monitoring strategies for documenting results
4. Evidence of parental contact and involvement.
 
If other children are identified as at-risk at other times during the school year, the teacher will begin the RtI process as soon as possible after the child is identified.
 
Retention at Grade Level
 
Students will be retained no more than twice in grades K-5. Decisions to retain students at grade level will be based on the following criteria:
 
1. Failure to meet local standards for proficiency on tested areas
2. Documented work samples from the teacher that the student has failed to reach acceptable levels of proficiency
3. Failing school grades 
4. Excessive absences from school or class
5. Failure to attend required tutorial sessions
 
Appeals
 
A teacher or parent may request a promotion for students in grades 3-5 scoring below Level III on an end-ofgrade. All appeals must be made in writing to the child’s principal. A committee will be established at the district level to hear appeals regarding retention decisions. The purpose of the appeals committee is to determine if the child is working on grade level or, in the case of students with disabilities or students with limited English proficiency, making adequate progress to be successful at the next grade level. Members of the committee will be trained in reviewing appropriate grade level work. The committee will consist of an administrator and two teachers not working daily with the student being retained. At least one of the committee members will be from the exceptional children’s department if a student with a disability is being considered in an appeal. In instances where a language barrier is present, communication in the native language will be available. The retention appeals committee will make its recommendation to the student’s principal who has the final say in promotion decisions. All appeals must be completed by July 1.
 
Persons requesting appeals for retention may provide the following documentation:
 
• Student work samples
• Other test data
• Information supplied by parents
• Comparison of growth in student achievement from the previous year
• For students with disabilities, information included in the Individualized Education Program (IEP)
• For students with Section 504 Plans, information included in the RtI documentation and accommodation plan
• For students with Limited English Proficiency, information included in the RtI documentation
• Other information that verifies that a student is performing at grade level
• Documentation of attendance at tutoring sessions
• Demonstrated evidences of student making continuous progress
• Previous retention at other grade levels
 
Procedures for serving students with exceptionalities, Section 504 plans, and limited English proficiency are outlined in the last section of this policy. 
 
6-8 Local Promotion Standards
 
Students in grades 6-8 must achieve a passing score on the reading and mathematics end-of-grade tests. Students in grade 8 must achieve a passing score on the science end-of-grade test. Students must also meet grade level expectations for classroom performance and attendance. Students in grades 6-8 must also pass English and math and either science or social studies courses. Teachers will use formative, benchmark, and summative assessment information in regards to promotion decisions. Students will be retained no more than twice in grades 6-8. The principal will make the final grade placement decision. Year end EOG’s and state developed final exams will count 20% of students final grade.
 
If a student takes NC Math 1 as an eighth grader, the EOC score will count 20% of the final grade.
 
The principal will make final grade placement decisions following all assessments.
 
Intervention Strategies
 
The classroom teacher will closely monitor student performance and will identify students who may be in danger of retention. The identification process will be based primarily on three factors: student’s performance on class work and homework, students who scored at Level I or II on the end-of-grade tests in the previous year, and student’s performance on quarterly assessments administered by the teacher. Parents will be notified in writing if/when a teacher determines that their child is at risk for retention. Remedial opportunities will be provided.
 
Remediation can occur during the school day, before or after school, on Saturdays, and/or during the summer. Teachers and tutors must document remedial opportunities and sessions.
 
RtI documentation will be written for each child identified as at-risk of not meeting promotion standards no later than the twentieth day following enrollment in school. The documentation will consist of the following components:
 
1. Diagnostic evaluation information
2. Specific intervention strategies
3. Monitoring strategies for documenting results
4. Evidence of parental contact and involvement.
 
Retention at Grade Level
 
Decisions to retain students at grade level will be based on the following criteria: 
 
1. Failure to meet local standards for proficiency on tested areas.
2. Documented work samples from the teacher that the student has failed to reach acceptable levels of proficiency.
3. Failing school grades.
4. Excessive absences from school or class.
5. Failure to attend required tutorial hours.
 
Appeals
 
Teachers or parents may request a promotion for students scoring below Level III on an end-of-grade. All appeals must be made in writing to the child’s principal. A committee will be established at the district level to hear appeals regarding retention decisions. The purpose of the appeals committee is to determine if the child is working on grade level or, in the case of students with disabilities or students with limited English proficiency, making adequate progress to be successful at the next grade level. Members of the committee will be trained in reviewing appropriate grade level work. The committee will consist of an administrator and two teachers not working daily with the student who is making the appeal. At least one of the committee members will be from the exceptional children’s department if a student with a disability is being considered in an appeal. In instances in which a language barrier is present, every attempt will be made to communicate in the native language available. The retention appeals committee will make its recommendation to the student’s principal who has the final say in promotion decisions. All appeals must be completed by July 1.
 
Persons requesting appeals for retention may provide the following documentation:
 
• Student work samples
• Other test data
• Information supplied by parents
• Comparison of growth in student achievement from the previous year
• For students with disabilities, information that is included in the Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
• For students with Section 504 Plans, information that is included in the RtI documentation and accommodation plan
• For students with Limited English Proficiency, information that is included in the RtI documentation
• Other information that verifies that a student is performing at grade level
• Documentation of attendance at tutoring sessions
• Demonstrated evidence of student making continuous progress
• Previous retention at other grade levels.
 
Procedures for serving students with exceptionalities, Section 504 plans, and limited English proficiency are outlined in the last section of this policy. 
 
9-12 Local Promotion Standards
 
To receive credit for a high school class, students must have a passing overall average (70% or above) in the course and meet the school system’s attendance requirement. EOC’s and all state developed final exams will count 20% of the final grade.
 
End-of-Course Tests, Diploma Standards and Senior Project Requirements
 
To receive a North Carolina high school diploma, students must meet all existing local and state graduation requirements. Students must successfully complete a graduation project that is developed, monitored, and scored within the LEA and achieve a passing score on the end-of course assessment for English II, Biology, and NC Math 1.
 
The principal shall make the final decision as to whether the student has met the promotion standard.
 
High School Promotion Standards
 
To become a sophomore, a student must earn a minimum of 6 course credits.
 
To become a junior, a student must earn a minimum of 13 course credits.
 
To become a senior, a student must earn a minimum of 20 course credits.
 
Credit Recovery
 
High school students may recover credit for a course they have failed under the following definition and parameters:
 
1. The term “credit recovery” will be used to refer to a block of instruction that is less than the entirety of the Standard Course of Study for that course. Credit recovery delivers a subset of the Standard Course of Study or blueprint of the original course in order to specifically address deficiencies in a student’s mastery of the course.
 
2. The original record of the course being completed and failed will remain on the transcript. A grade of pass or fail for each credit recovery course will be indicated on the student’s transcript. The mark will not affect the student’s GPA.
 
3. The End of Course (EOC) exam associated with the credit recovery course may be administered no later than 30 days upon the completion of the credit recovery course. 
 
Repeating a Course for Credit
 
High school students may repeat a course for credit under the following definition and parameters:
 
1. The term “repeating a course for credit” will be used to refer to a high school course repeated via any delivery method when the entire Standard Course of Study for that course is taught to the student for the second time.
 
2. Students are permitted to repeat a course for credit they have failed. Students are also permitted to repeat a course for credit (same level course) one time when they have passed the course.
 
3. Students repeating a course for credit shall receive a grade and take the associated Endof-Course (EOC) assessment. The students who have already scored at Level 3, 4, or 5 on the associated EOC assessment may elect either to retake the EOC or use the previous passing EOC score as 20% of their final grade. If the student retakes the EOC, the higher of the two scores will be used in the calculation of the final grade.
 
4. If a student takes a course with an NCFE (North Carolina Final Exam) then they must take the test when repeating a course. The higher of the two scores on the NCFE will be counted as 20% of the final grade.
 
5. If a student repeats a course, the new course grade shall replace the previous grade of the course.
 
6. When a student repeats a course for credit and passes the course, the student only earns credit towards graduation once.
 
Credit By Demonstrated Mastery
 
Credit by Demonstrated Mastery (CDM) shall be available to students in grades 9-12 for high school courses and in grades 6-8 for high school courses offered in middle school. Students shall demonstrate mastery through a multi-phase assessment, consisting of a standard examination and an artifact which requires the student to apply knowledge and skills relevant to the content standards. A committee identified by the district will determine if the student has a deep understanding of the standards for the course or subject area, as defined by the North Carolina Standard Course of Study, thereby earning credit for the course without experiencing it in the school setting. Some courses are excluded from Credit by Demonstrated Mastery. For a complete list refer to SBE policy GCS-M-001.
 
CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
 
For purposes of this policy, special needs children are defined as the following:
 
• Students with disabilities under current Federal And State legislation
• Students with disabilities under Individuals with Disabilities Act;
• Students with disabilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973;
• Students with Limited English Proficiency.
 
Students with Disabilities
 
State and federal law requires that all students, including students with disabilities and students identified as limited English proficient, participate in the statewide testing program. Student participation includes participating in the state assessments on grade-level (i.e., general, alternate) with or without testing accommodations.
 
For any state-mandated test, the accommodation for an eligible student must (1) be documented in the student’s current Individualized Education Program (IEP), Section 504 Plan, LEP documentation, or transitory impairment documentation and (2) the documentation must reflect routine use during instruction and similar classroom assessments that measure the same construct. In North Carolina, students who are classified in one or more of the following categories must have documentation on file that includes the use of testing accommodations.
 
  • Students with a disability who have a current IEP.
 
All students in this category are eligible to receive testing accommodations. Decisions regarding whether or not a student with a disability who has an IEP will participate in the general assessment/alternate assessment with or without accommodations must be made by the IEP Team and documented in the student’s IEP. Decisions are made on a case-by-case basis based on the needs of the student and on the construct measured on the assessment.
 
  • Students with a disability who have a current Section 504 Plan.
 
All students in this category are eligible to receive testing accommodations. Decisions regarding whether or not a student with a disability who has a current Section 504 Plan will participate in the general assessment with or without accommodations must be made by the Section 504 Committee and documented in the student’s current Section 504 Plan. Decisions are made on a case-by-case basis based on the needs of the student and on the construct measured on the assessment. Note: Students with a Section 504 Plan are not eligible to participate in alternate assessments. 
 
  • Students with a transitory impairment.
 
A student is not regarded as an individual with disabilities if the impairment is transitory and minor (Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Amendments Act of 2008, Section 3 (3)(B). A transitory impairment is any impairment with an actual or expected duration of six months or less. A transitory impairment does not constitute a disability for purposes of Section 504 unless its severity is such that it results in a substantial limitation of one or more major life activities for an extended period of time. On a case-by-case basis where appropriate documentation exists, students who are identified with a transitory impairment may receive testing accommodations (e.g., student breaks arm and needs dictation to a scribe). The decision regarding accommodations must be made by a school committee and documented in transitory impairment documentation prior to testing. Copies of this documentation must be kept at the school. Decisions are made on a case-by-case basis based on the needs of the student and on the construct measured on the assessment. Note: Students with a transitory impairment are not eligible to participate in alternate assessments.
 
Students with Limited English Proficiency
 
Students of limited English proficiency must meet the same accountability standards as all other students. All interventions, remediation, benefits, and resources that are made available to other students will be made available to students with limited English language proficiency. In accordance with federal law, English language proficiency cannot be the factor that determines that a student has not met student accountability performance standards.
 
The student’s teacher(s) must submit an instructional portfolio containing documentation of the students’ English language proficiency and progress in all academic areas to the Appeals Committee. The Committee will determine if a student is ready to be promoted to the next grade.
 
LEP students who are in their first year in US schools and score below Level 4.0 Expanding on the state English language proficiency reading test shall not be assessed on the EOG reading test.
 
All students identified as limited English proficient must be assessed using the W-APT at initial enrollment. All students are tested annually using the ACCESS during the LEP testing window.
 
Limited English proficient students must meet the same standards as all students for high school graduation. Wilkes County Schools will provide focused intervention for these students until they have met statewide promotion standards and high school graduation requirements up to age 21. This intervention will involve extended, supplemental instructional opportunities that include assistance in the development of English language proficiency. These students will have Personalized Education Plans that include diagnostic evaluation, intervention strategies, and monitoring strategies. 
 
 
 
 
Cross Reference: Attendance (Policy 4400)
Adopted: May 17, 2004
Revised: December 5, 2005, June 7, 2010, June 4, 2012, December 3, 2012, November 4, 2013 January 13, 2014, June 6, 2016, August 1, 2016