CVU reaches academic performance goals (4/9/09)

April 9, 2009

By Tim Simard

Observer staff

Champlain Valley Union High School made Adequate Yearly Progress, according to the Vermont Department of Education. The DOE released the results in a report issued late last month.

The federal No Child Left Behind Act requires schools to improve each year under performance guidelines, called Adequate Yearly Progress goals.

Vermont uses the New England Common Assessment Program tests to measure Adequate Yearly Progress, with only grade 11 being tested at the high school level.

Two testing subgroups — students qualifying for free or reduced lunch and students with disabilities — are not currently measured for Adequate Yearly Progress at CVU. The Williston School District, for example, failed to make Adequate Yearly Progress for those two subgroups. Principal Sean McMannon explained that the number of students in each group is lower than what the state requires for reporting.

“We don’t really qualify there,” McMannon said. “It’s hard to tell where we’d pan out in those groups (for Adequate Yearly Progress).”

McMannon said school employees will continue their hard work to make sure CVU students are receiving a top education. He said it’s important to think beyond standardized tests when teaching, citing graduation challenges as a prime example.

Under the Graduation Challenge program, CVU seniors design their own 20- to 45-hour educational projects with help from a community consultant in that area of expertise.

“We’re teaching to the important content and skills,” McMannon said.