Two Smithfield schools 'commended' in state report

Two Smithfield schools 'commended' in state report

SMITHFIELD - The high school and the Anna McCabe Elementary School have been classified as "commended" under an accountability system used by the state Department of Education that measures factors including student proficiency on standardized tests, year-to-year improvement, and progress toward goals in math and reading to be reached by 2017.

The "commended" classification is the highest possible under the state system.

The Old County Road Elementary School achieved the second-highest ranking, "leading," and the district's three other schools, the Gallagher Middle School and the LaPerche and Winsor elementary schools, were classified as "typical."

All local schools achieved composite scores above 50, the cutoff below which three other classifications warn of deficiencies.

Schools in the study are ranked on a scale of 100 possible points, with the highest point values, 30, assigned to both student proficiency and "gap-closing" - the latter a measure of whether a school is serving all its students equally well, including those with disabilities or first languages other than English.

Other criteria include the number of students testing with distinction, whether all students are making progress, and high school graduation rates.

According to the Department of Education, a commended school is one that compiles a score among the highest in the state, has no achievement gaps, and is recognized "because of either high performance or significant progress."

Leading schools must score between 70 and 76, and Typical schools between 50 and 70.

The high school earned a total score of 91, and Anna McCabe 82.14.

Old County Road's score was 72.38; Winsor, 69.29; Gallagher, 57.83; and LaPerche, 54.33.

The high school was reported to be on track for all nine of its 2017 goals, Gallagher and Old County Road for all of their 12 goals, McCabe for all of its four goals, Winsor for two of its four goals, and LaPerche for four of its 10 goals.

Supt. Robert O'Brien said the latter two schools, while they did not achieve the state-mandated progress on some of their 2017 goals, are nonetheless moving in that direction. He said that local schools are already at high achievement levels on testing, and because of that, forward progress becomes more difficult to attain.

He said that while "there is still work to do," he was pleased with the rankings in general, especially because all local schools ranked "typical" or better.