Walton School gets high rating from state

Oct 10, 2018 by

Published in the October 10, 2018 edition

By MARK SARDELLA

WAKEFIELD — The Walton Elementary School has been named a “Commissioner’s School of Distinction” by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), School Superintendent Douglas Lyons announced at last night’s School Committee meeting.

Only 52 schools in the state have been recognized in this way, Lyons said, noting that schools so designated have exceeded state-set accountability targets. The Walton School, Lyons explained, “exceeded those targets by a lot,” despite the construction that was going on at the Walton during the last school year.

The announcement came as Lyons was discussing the new accountability measures set by DESE as a way of laying the groundwork for the scheduled Oct. 23 School Committee discussion of last spring’s MCAS test score results.

Lyons noted that DESE has rolled out a new accountability system by which all districts and schools in the state are measured. A previously used numerical scoring system has been replaced by system that uses categories to assess different program areas.

He noted that the new accountability system looks at four categories: student growth, achievement, absenteeism and how the lowest performing group of students in a district are doing.

A ranking of “Commendable” means that any requirement or aspect of a requirement has been implemented in an exemplary manner significantly beyond the requirements of law or regulation.

An accountability rating of “Implemented” means that the requirement being evaluated is substantially met in all important aspects.

The rating “Implementation in Progress” is used for criteria containing new or updated legal requirements and means that the district has implemented any old requirements contained in the criterion and is training staff or beginning to implement the new requirements in such a way that the onsite team anticipates that the new requirements will be implemented by the end of the school year

“Partially Implemented” means that the requirement being evaluated, in one or several important aspects, is not entirely met.

“Not Implemented” means that the requirement is totally or substantially not met.

For those criteria receiving a rating of “Partially Implemented” or “Not Implemented,” the district must propose to the Department corrective actions to bring those areas into compliance with the controlling statute or regulation. For any criteria receiving a rating of “Implementation in Progress,” the district must indicate the steps the district will continue to take in order to fulfill the regulatory requirements. Districts are expected to incorporate the corrective actions into their district and school improvement plans, including their professional development plans.

Lyons said that no Wakefield Schools were deemed to be in need of any targeted intervention from the state.

Lyons said that the complete accountability ratings for Wakefield schools will be presented at the Oct. 23 School Committee meeting.

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