State unveils 'Snapshot' of schools

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WHITINGHAM — The Vermont Agency of Education has released Vermont's first Annual Snapshot report, an online tool that shows quantitative data for several indicators of school performance. The Snapshot contains information about each public school in every Supervisory District and Supervisory Union (SD/SU) in the state. The Snapshot has pages for every school in Vermont, including for all schools in Windham Southwest Supervisory Union.

The Annual Snapshot shows detail about the school's achievements in meeting Vermont's Education Quality Standards. These standards are measured in five domains: academic proficiency, personalization, safe and healthy schools, high-quality staffing and investment priorities. The current data in the Snapshot is from Smarter Balanced testing that occurred at the end of 2017-2018 school year, and considers test score growth from the 2015-2016 school year through 2017-2018. The 2018-2019 SBAC scores are not included in the Snapshot.

Together with the Integrated Field Reviews, the Snapshot will help school systems identify successes and areas for improvement for their Continuous Improvement Plans. These plans help SD/SUs meet their goals to ensure high-quality schools and equal access to students from Vermont's historically vulnerable communities. The Snapshot is part of a more holistic approach to assessing performance, focused on continuous improvement.

Schools in the Windham Southwest Supervisory Union have much of which to be proud. Collectively, across the supervisory union, the weighted scale score for academic proficiency in English language arts, math, and science is meeting state expectations. In addition, at the supervisory union level, growth in both English language arts and math is meeting expectations.

In particular, Twin Valley Middle High School is meeting expectations in English language arts, while Twin Valley Elementary School is meeting expectations in math. Halifax is exceeding state proficiency expectations in English language arts and is meeting expectations in math. Stamford is meeting expectations in math and English language arts. Readsboro is meeting expectations for student growth in English language arts.

The data in the Snapshot will be used to help districts inform and develop continuous improvement plans. In addition, data from future years will help track progress toward continuous improvement goals. Furthermore, the Snapshot provides data that will help schools target their resources better. In this light, Twin Valley Middle High School has work to do in math while Twin Valley Elementary School has work to do in English language arts. Readsboro Elementary School has work to do around math. Some Vermont schools show such a significant difference in performance from how their peers in Vermont have performed that they are eligible for Comprehensive Supports under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Readsboro Elementary School is one of these schools based on low growth in math. As an eligible school, Readsboro will receive additional monitoring and assistance from the Vermont Agency of Education to help improve achievement. Specifically, Readsboro will receive federal money, support from the AOE, and will ensure that a goal in its continuous improvement plan focuses on students' growth.

Vermont, as a state, is not meeting expectations for closing equity gaps between historically advantaged and disadvantaged groups. Like most schools in Vermont, Twin Valley Middle High School is one of more than 190 schools that has a significant difference in performance between students receiving free and reduced lunch and those not. In order to help remedy this, TVMHS will be adding a related goal to its Continuous Improvement Plan. In addition, the state will be providing non-financial supports to Twin Valley Middle High School and the many other schools in Vermont who are identified as having a need for equity supports.

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