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Washington County elementary, high schools meet benchmarks

November 17, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- Washington County Public Schools is labeled as "not in system improvement" by the Maryland State Department of Education based on student performance on state exams during the 2007-08 school year, local officials said Monday.

Overall, local elementary and high schools met Adequate Yearly Progress in all 19 assessed areas. However, at the middle school level, benchmarks in two assessed areas were not met: reading proficiency rates for special- education students and students who qualify for free or reduced-price meals.

The school system also did not make AYP among all middle schools in 2007. That year, the middle schools did not meet goals among students with limited English proficiency, according to state data.

Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education Donna Hanlin said that under a previous standard used by the Maryland State Department of Education, Washington County Public Schools would not have met AYP as a school system, failing to hit a benchmark of proficiency among special-education students in reading.

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"We are pleased once again that we are not a system in improvement," Hanlin said. "However, we do recognize that we have work to do, especially with the special-education subgroup, and that area of work will continue to be a priority for staff in the school system so we can ensure that we are meeting the needs of every student."

Four elementary and middle schools did not make AYP, according to data released by the Maryland State Department of Education earlier this year: Fountaindale School for the Arts & Academic Excellence and E. Russell Hicks, Springfield and Western Heights middle schools.

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