In the Niagara Falls City School District, our vision is Learning For All … Whatever It Takes. It is our guiding principle and we, as teachers, administrators, and support staff are committed to it.
A recent article in a local publication summarizing our Chief Information Officer’s report to the Board of Education on student achievement presented a distorted view of that achievement. The District is, in fact, designated “In Good Academic Standing” by the State Education Department. We have no failing schools.
Here is a simple clarification that may resolve any misconceptions.
For State reporting purposes, students are categorized into “cells.” These include English Language Learners, African American students, students with special needs, and so on. A student who happens to belong to more than one cell is counted in every cell that applies to him or her—for example, a Special Education student who is also an English Language Learner would impact the results of both cells.
Failure of any cell to reach a certain level of proficiency requires the school of attendance to develop a Local Assistance Plan (LAP)—a useful tool to help redirect efforts to address the cell in question. This data is not reflected in a student’s permanent record.
During the season of thanksgiving, and as we continue to work daily to realize our vision, we are grateful for the District teachers, administrators, the Board of Education, and especially our children and parents whose joined efforts will result in ALL students achieving, succeeding, and embodying Learning For All … Whatever It Takes.