I am writing to inform you that Newell-Fonda Middle School has been designated as a “School in Need of Assistance,” or SINA, under these federal guidelines because a portion of our students DID NOT REACH PROFICIENCY GOALS ON THEIR READING for two consecutive years. As a result, our district is required by law to offer your student school choice to transfer to another school within the district that has not been designated as a school in need of assistance. We also will be offering supplemental educational services, such as tutoring, to eligible students. A list of approved supplemental educational service providers is on the Iowa Department of Education website.
Please know that the SINA designation refers to federal criteria. We remain a fully accredited school in complete compliance with State of Iowa regulations.
WHY Newell-Fonda Middle School DIDN’T MAKE AYP:
Schools don’t make AYP when they don’t achieve one of the measures listed above. Newell-Fonda is listed because not enough students met their goals in the following areas:
We did not have enough students in Middle School Reading Score above proficiency on the Iowa Assessments.
You’ll note that some of the improvement areas relate specifically to instruction, such as reading or math, and some relate to test participation. That is because we are required to test 95% of our students. If we fall below that mark, the federal law automatically cites us.
HOW Newell-Fonda WILL IMPROVE:
We know that continuous improvement is important to ensure all of our students are reaching their highest potential. Using data about the students and their achievement, our staff already has begun to identify areas for improvement. For example:
We created a Reading Interventionist position whose role is to work on specific reading needs of individual and small groups of students.
We have created Professional Development opportunities for our staff to work on implementing the Iowa Core and Conceptual Unit Design.
We have bolstered our classroom libraries to provide varied reading experiences for our students.
Some student groups may require additional instructional interventions, pending a review of our current programs and services. In addition, the Iowa Department of Education and the Newell-Fonda Community School district already have begun providing technical assistance to Newell-Fonda Middle School as required by the NCLB law.
HOW PARENTS CAN HELP:
Parent support is essential to help your student reach his or her highest academic success, but parents may need ideas about the best way to be involved. A few suggestions include:
· Communicate regularly with your child’s teachers about overall goals for the year and your child’s progress toward those goals.
· Make sure your child attends school regularly. Attendance is important at every grade level. When your child must be absent, please talk with the teacher to coordinate make-up work and assignments.
· Help your child with his or her homework. If you are unable to help, contact the school to request a tutor.
· Volunteer at the school. Every teacher needs volunteers to help in the classroom, or even with projects that can be done in your home. Other areas in the school, such as the office or cafeteria, also need volunteers.
HOW TO REQUEST SCHOOL CHOICE:
OUR SCHOOLS ARE NOT ABLE TO OFFER SCHOOL CHOICE BECAUSE THERE ARE NO SCHOOLS AVAILABLE FOR STUDENTS TO ATTEND.
HOW TO REQUEST SUPPLEMENTAL EDUCATIONAL SERVICES:
We will offer supplemental education services, such as tutoring before or after school, for eligible students. Research from the federal government has shown that students who participated in supplemental educational services made significant gains in student achievement, and students who participated in multiple years did even better. A list of approved service providers is attached. If you have questions about whether your student is eligible, or about which service might best meet the needs of your child, contact Dick Jungers at 712-272-3324 The district is not required to provide transportation to off-site supplemental educational service locations. Transportation to these sites will be the responsibility of the parent.
As parents, you can be assured your students continue to receive a high quality education at Newell-Fonda. The assessment results cited by NCLB are one useful measurement for us, but we also have many other indicators to demonstrate our students’ achievement. You’ll note from our school web
page at http://www.newell-fonda.k12.ia.us/district-info/sina-delay-letter/newell-fonda/ that each class at Newell-Fonda has success stories. For instance:
Our School is a 1-1 laptop school where we teach each student the importance of 21st Century learning tools and skills. We use many web based programs to broaden the variety of reading experiences for our students.
Our School is on a Delay Status in Middle School Reading because we showed growth in our Reading Scores. One more year of growth and we will no longer be a School In Need of Assistance.
Our high school students have performed very well on the Iowa Assessments. A strong indication that our system is providing a top notch educational opportunity for all of our students.
We are very proud of our students and of the education they receive from the staff at Newell-Fonda. We also are committed to continuous improvement, and so will continue to seek new data and make any changes necessary to benefit student learning. We appreciate and depend on your ongoing support and assistance, and welcome your suggestions.