Nine District Schools Rated as “Superior”

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Nine schools in the Indian River School District were classified as “Superior” when the State of Delaware released its 2009 school accountability ratings on July 31.

East Millsboro Elementary School, Frankford Elementary School, Georgetown Elementary School, Long Neck Elementary School, Lord Baltimore Elementary School, North Georgetown Elementary School, Phillip C. Showell Elementary School, Southern Delaware School of the Arts and the Howard T. Ennis School all received the highest-possible rating on the state’s accountability system. In addition, Indian River High School was rated as “Commendable.”

Georgetown Elementary School and Indian River High School both improved their ratings from “Academic Review” in 2008.

“These ratings are a testament to the high quality of instruction being provided to students throughout our district,” Superintendent Susan Bunting said. “For eight of our schools, this marks the fourth consecutive year they’ve been rated as Superior. We are extremely proud of our teachers and staff for making this level of consistency possible.”

Accountability ratings are based on a complex formula that determines if a school achieves “Adequate Yearly Progress.” The formula is based on the percentage of students who achieve proficiency in the English/language arts and math portions of the Delaware Student Testing Program (DSTP). It also takes into account high school graduation rates, the percentage of students who participated in the state assessment, and improvement among elementary and middle school students who did not previously meet the standards. To achieve Adequate Yearly Progress, a school must meet performance targets in 37 assessment areas.

The Indian River School District’s ratings were bolstered by a strong performance on the 2009 DSTP. Scores were especially strong at the fifth grade level, where students ranked first in the state in reading, math and writing.

Two district schools saw their ratings drop in 2009. Selbyville Middle School slipped from “Superior” to “Academic Review,” while Sussex Central High School fell from “Academic Progress” to “Academic Watch.”

“We are concerned about the ratings drop at these two schools and have identified the specific areas in need of improvement,” Bunting said. “Selbyville Middle’s reading scores among special education students lagged behind in 2009 and will be addressed during the upcoming school year. Meanwhile, the administrative team at Sussex Central is formulating an extensive academic improvement plan that we believe will put the school back on track in 2010.”

Ratings were not issued for Georgetown Middle School and Millsboro Middle School, which have only been in existence for one year. Schools must have at least two years of data in order to receive an accountability rating.