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UPDATE: State releases Schools in Need of Improvement list

Two Liverpool schools and four North Syracuse schools were added to the state's Schools in Need of Improvement list, and North Syracuse was named a District in Need of Improvement.

Two Liverpool schools and four North Syracuse schools were added to the state's Schools in Need of Improvement list, and North Syracuse was named a District in Need of Improvement.

— “Now, we have to put together an improvement plan,” Finkle said. “And we have to meet the benchmark set by the state for the next two years to get off the list.”

The state will look at a number of criteria to determine how the district can improve its practices.

“They look at a number of indicators,” Finkle said. “They examine our teaching and learning, our institutional practices, they make sure we have a viable curriculum in place, they review our AIS program, they make sure we’re working with our students with disabilities and our English language learners. They’ll look at school leadership and professional development.”

In addition, the state will look at how the district handles low-income students. Finkle said the district-wide poverty rate is somewhere between 23 and 27 percent, and three of the schools on the list – Bear Road, Roxboro Road and the junior high are Title I schools, meaning they have a particularly high poverty rate. Those schools require special treatment as part of the remediation program.

“For the Title I schools, we have to put together an improvement plan as part of the quality review process,” Finkle said. “That has to be reported to the state by Nov. 30. It’s a very comprehensive plan – it goes into every aspect of the school’s structure. It’s a good opportunity to examine what we’re doing. After Nov. 30, we have to put together a comprehensive education plan for all three schools where we address the issues we identified in the review process. All that has to do with increasing student achievement.”

In addition, the school will provide supplemental education services wherein outside agencies will provide free tutoring to those students who will benefit from it.

Gillette Road, meanwhile, is on the list for the first time; it is designated as a “school requiring academic progress.” It will simply be monitored. If the school reaches the benchmark two years in a row, it will be removed from the list.

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