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Springfield Middle off 'alert' list

August 24, 2004|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

Springfield Middle School has been removed from the list of Maryland schools on "alert" status for its Maryland School Assessment scores after the Washington County Board of Education appealed the designation.

The change comes after information about one student was corrected, said Patricia Abernethy, county deputy schools superintendent.

On June 30, Springfield and Boonsboro middle schools and Bester Elementary School were put in the "Schools on Alert" category because they did not meet Adequate Yearly Progress goals in 2004. Those schools met the goals in 2001, 2002 and 2003, according to information released by the state Department of Education.

After the state released the information on the schools' status, school system personnel checked data supplied to the state about the students taking the tests to ensure it was accurate, Abernethy said.

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During that check, it was discovered that employees at either the school or the school system's central office made a clerical error, she said. Information for a special education student, who was in eighth grade at the time, was not coded properly, Abernethy said.

When that information was properly coded, it was determined that the school met the Adequate Yearly Progress goals, she said. It was only in one category - reading scores for students with disabilities - that the school previously was found to be below that goal, she said.

The appeal was filed July 13.

Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan said it is a tribute to the school system staff that the error was spotted quickly and the mistake fixed.

This is not the first time a Washington County school's status changed because of one student. A similar situation occurred at Eastern Elementary School during the last school year.

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