The New York State Education Department recently notified the Liberty Central School District that it is has been designated as a Focus District and is eligible for extra support and services to meet student needs.
The state evaluates the performance of schools across the state, and Focus Districts and Focus Schools are among the lowest performing on the grades 3-8 English language arts and math state assessments. In addition to the district designation, both Liberty Elementary School and Liberty Middle School have been identified as Focus Schools.
“As a district with focus schools, we will concentrate our school improvement efforts on closing achievement gaps in order to help all students reach their learning potential,” Superintendent Dr. William Silver said. “Additionally, our faculty and staff will be offered professional development sessions on quality instructional practices, how to support student behavior positively, and how to be culturally sensitive to our students to support their learning.”
The state bases the district and school designations on the performance of specific sub-groups of students in grades 3-8 on English language arts and math state assessments. These sub-groups include racial or ethnic groups, low-income students, English language learners (ELL) and students with disabilities.
The Focus designations for Liberty Central School District and its elementary and middle schools were given to the following specific subgroups:
- Liberty Central School District: “Economically Disadvantaged” and “Students with Disabilities”
- Liberty Middle School: “Black,” “Economically Disadvantaged,” and “Students with Disabilities”
- Liberty Elementary School: “Economically Disadvantaged,” “Hispanic”
As newly identified Focus District and Focus Schools, administrators will be required to develop a District Comprehensive Improvement and School Comprehensive Education Plan, undergo a visit and review from the State Education Department and will receive funds to improve the assessment and graduation rates of four state-identified subgroups: “Black,” “Hispanic,” “Economically Disadvantaged,” and “Students with Disabilities.”
While the state designations are determined on a single state assessment that happens at only one point in the school year, the district uses several measures throughout the school year, including state assessment results, to ensure that students are making academic progress, Dr. Silver said.
The district will collaborate with the state in closely monitoring the growth of students the state identified as at risk of falling behind in school.
“We are proud of our district, our students and their achievements and will continue to work diligently to prepare all students for success in their path to become responsible citizens of the 21st century,” Dr. Silver said.
For additional information about the district’s Focus designation, please contact your child’s school principal.