S.Paula Elementary School District shows gains under Program Improvement status
By Brian D. Wilson
Santa Paula News
Published: January 18, 2013
The Santa Paula Elementary School District, which has been in Program Improvement status under No Child Left Behind since 2004-05, has been showing growth in academic achievement in almost all areas since that time.
In 2008, the SPESD entered Year Three Corrective Action under No Child Left Behind. The California State Board of Education then assigned the district Corrective Action #6, requiring the SPESD to contract a State Board of Education-approved District Assistance and Intervention Team (DAIT) lead. The district contracted with the Ventura County Office of Education, revising its English Language Student plan to address barriers to student learning revealed through the DAIT process.
The County Office of Education observed 39 elementary lessons and 17 middle school lessons in core subject areas in all grades for 10-15 minutes per class. Visitors went into classrooms in all schools in the district and observed many of the features that support English learners and Students with Disabilities, including special education and English Language Development lessons.
In a reports to the SPESD board from County officials it states, In April and again November/December it was clear to the DAIT observers that SPESD has made tremendous progress. Both state and federal accountability systems indicators demonstrated that student achievement has increased. The report also said, At every campus, and especially at the middle school, there is increased optimism and belief that even higher student achievement can be attained.
Several recommendations came from the DAIT group. They suggested that the SPESD increase the rigor and student expectations district wide and to make sure students know why they are learning what is presented and what is expected of them.
They also recommended a district wide common understanding of what an academic and behavior support and intervention system should be. And finally, they suggested that teachers be trained on the benefit and delivery of specific feedback.