Some CHS seniors still in graduation jeopardy after NECAP retake

Some CHS seniors still in graduation jeopardy after NECAP retake

CUMBERLAND - Fifty-eight percent of Cumberland seniors who were retaking the NECAP math section after an initial poor showing as juniors now qualify for diplomas, high school Principal Alan Tenreiro told The Breeze last week.

That means of the 93 retested, 55 can now receive diplomas, provided all other requirements are met.

Letters were mailed to the homes of the remaining 38 seniors on Jan. 28 and meetings to discuss options were scheduled during the day and evening from Feb. 3 to 7, according to Tenreiro's schedule.

Cumberland's retesting scores, announced last week, are better than the state average in this first year that the NECAP counts toward graduation for all Rhode Island seniors.

While 12 percent of CHS' 321 seniors remain in graduation jeopardy, statewide, officials announced a full one-quarter of Rhode Island seniors are still not eligible to graduate following a second stab at the NECAP. Just 43 percent of those retested statewide scored well enough to move forward toward diplomas, said state officials.

And that's after lowering the bar so that students weren't required to reach "partially proficient," but to show a certain level of improvement over their first attempt.

Tenreiro said that by this time every year he's typically monitoring 25 to 30 seniors in danger of not graduating, so the new pressure of the NECAP testing has added only few more to the mix, he said.

Cumberland High School uses a "Student Progress Plan" to track each student's progress toward diploma requirements. It lists a series of opportunities for students to pass - or bypass - the NECAP.

Last spring, students getting ready for the October retake were completing daily NECAP problems, meeting in tutorial classes after school one day a week. Additionally, they were offered virtual learning math modules.

Summer sessions ran from July 8 to 26 and Aug. 12 to 23 for 90 minutes a day.

Returning this fall, the seniors were again given daily NECAP problems to solve, enrolled in one of the two new numeracy classes, and, in advance of the Oct. 2 retake, were enrolled in Saturday test prep sessions on Sept. 14 and Sept. 28.

Similar sessions were offered for the far fewer who fell below in the reading score.

Going forward, the 38 seniors still without a passing score may retake the NECAP again, or try a variety of alternate tests that are spelled out for the student and family. Among them is the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery on Feb. 24 or SAT math level 1 tests where a 530 score is needed.

There is a waiver process for those who can demonstrate they've met all other requirements and should be allowed to graduate, including acceptance into a non-open enrollment college program or AmeriCorps or City Year federal programs, or the outcomes on certain assessment data.