Monadnock Ledger Transcript – Antrim Elementary School removed from State Improvement List

Monadnock Ledger Transcript

Published: 2022-11-15 11:25:31

Antrim Elementary School was removed from a statewide list of schools deemed in need of improvement and support by the New Hampshire Department of Education.

Under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), states are required to develop an accountability system and identify schools that need the most support. In the fall, the Department of Education resumed school identification after a two-year hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

School types identified under ESSA include Comprehensive Support and Improvement, Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI), and Additional Targeted Support and Improvement (ATSI) schools. Schools identified as CSI schools are identified every three years as schools exhibiting the greatest challenges in academic and student achievement.

Stephanie Syre-Hager, principal at Antrim Elementary School, which has 108 students in the kindergarten through fourth grades and 30 in the preschool program, said her school was CSI-listed in 2018 based on a student assessment of 2017 test scores. Syre-Hager explained that schools were supposed to be on the list for three years, but that COVID was slowing down the process.

“Staff worked together to learn and grow, and that was largely the result of determination and perseverance,” she said, adding that Antrim Elementary worked with the New Hampshire Universal Design for Learning (NH UDL), one multi-year vocational school – location-based professional learning program for educators in New Hampshire, as well as with technical advisors and other program administrators. “Not only have our results improved, but we’ve met progress requirements related to culture changes. We hope this is a validation of all the hard work we’ve put in as a team over four years.”

CIS schools are the lowest-performing 5 percent of all schools in the state that receive Title I, Part A funding, as well as all high schools in the state with a four-year graduation rate of less than 67 percent, regardless of Title I status. I schools include those where children from low-income families make up at least 40 percent of enrollments. These schools are eligible to use Title I funds to conduct school-wide programs that serve all children in the school to enhance the achievement of the lowest-achieving students.

ESSA requires states to calculate and publish the list of public schools identified for CSI every three years. The data depicts elementary and middle school performance in four key areas: academic success, growth, progress in English fluency, and equity. Key indicators for high schools include academic performance, graduation rates, progress in English proficiency, and college and professional readiness.

“The New Hampshire Department of Education will provide ongoing reviews, technical support, and monitoring to support improvement efforts within each CSI school and to aid in continued progress. These schools will develop improvement plans that will ensure effective learning strategies are implemented,” said Frank Edelblut, the state’s Education Officer. “They will also receive funding to enable robust, high-leverage, evidence-based practices, policies, programs and services executed in a thoughtful approach, with the goal of creating sustainable systems that help students and teachers to achieve higher levels reach.”

In accordance with the ESSA, NHED has reserved a total of $3.44 million in federal funding from its $49.1 million Title I allocation to provide direct funding and support for the development and implementation of school improvement programs for certain to provide schools.

Nine schools previously identified as CSI schools in 2018, including Antrim Elementary, have since met the necessary improvement criteria to exit CSI status.