Report: Middle school, Bijou remain low-performing schools |

Report: Middle school, Bijou remain low-performing schools

William Ferchland

The list of 1,772 California public schools not meeting targets for No Child Left Behind was released Tuesday, with two schools in Lake Tahoe Unified School District included in the designation.

South Tahoe Middle School and Bijou Community School did not join the 121 sites that exited “program improvement” status for the 2005-06 school year. The pair of schools are in their second year under the category for low student performance in math and English/language arts.

James Tarwater, superintendent of Lake Tahoe Unified School District, said procedures are in place to lift the schools out of the status.

“So what are we doing? Well, what we’re doing is we’ve already begun with our professional development,” Tarwater said.

Tarwater again touched on literacy sheets that teachers can use to monitor students’ performance in English.

New software will also help improve student scores, Tarwater said.

Schools in “program improvement” either don’t meet federal benchmarks in different areas: the federal mandates in Adequate Yearly Progress for English/language arts or mathematics, the state’s academic accountability model in the Academic Performance Index or a required graduation rate.

“Program improvement” status is only designated for schools receiving Title 1 funds. Those with the designation must allow students to attend a school not in that designation and provide free transportation to that school.

Schools in or beyond their third year in “program improvement” will be given state help in their shortcomings.

“We will work with districts to help them determine what types of local corrective actions and assistance might help address these deficiencies and then share effective programs with schools and districts throughout the state,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell.

The 1,772 schools in “program improvement” comprise 30 percent of the 5,887 Title 1 schools in California.

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