Eleven area schools have not made Adequate Yearly Progress, according to preliminary results released by Hall County and Gainesville school boards this week.
In Hall County, Lanier Charter Career Academy, Sardis Enrichment, Tadmore Elementary, South Hall Middle, West Hall Middle, West Hall High and Chestatee High schools fell short in at least one area. The Gainesville schools not meeting preliminary AYP calculations are Enota Multiple Intelligences Academy, Wood's Mill High School, Gainesville High School and Gainesville Middle School.
Several of these schools, however, are highly likely to make AYP once summer school graduates, Criterion-Referenced Competency Test and Georgia High School Graduation Test summer retakes, CRCT-Monitored results and students with disabilities' CRCT scores are calculated.
"We needed two more fifth-grade (English Language Learners) to pass math," Tadmore Principal Robin Gower said. "We had nine pass it (during summer retakes)."
Tadmore, along with West Hall High, Chestatee High, Enota and Gainesville High should meet AYP when final results are released in September.
Gary Brown, executive director of administrative services for Hall County schools, said he doesn't like to see the preliminary results released because of the perception that they are the final results, but said it was important for schools to see where they are.
"They give us early, incomplete data so we can make our plans," said Jamey Moore, director of curriculum and instruction for Gainesville City Schools.
AYP results are based on several factors — meeting test participation rates, academic performance targets on the CRCT and graduation tests and a second indicator.
AYP only considers these factors for students who complete the full academic year in a school.
When the No Child Left Behind Act, which AYP is based on, was created in 2001, states submitted proposed academic targets, or Annual Measurable Objectives.
From 2003 to 2010, AMOs only increased slightly, but schools faced a challenge in 2011 as AMOs jumped almost 10 percent.
By 2014, 100 percent of Georgia students are expected to meet the AMO targets.
"It's totally unrealistic," Gainesville City Schools Superintendent Merrianne Dyer said. "If you've got an unrealistic target, you're just shooting yourself in the foot because depending on some factors, you're not going to reach it."
Students are divided into different subgroups in an AYP indicator report. There is an all students group and six ethnicity subgroups along with students with disabilities, ELL and economically disadvantaged subgroups.
Each subgroup must have at least 40 students in it for scores to count. For students in multiple subgroups, their scores count multiple times.
"Gainesville Middle didn't make AYP math in three of the subgroups. They could clear two of those subgroups with summer retakes, but they're not likely to clear students with disabilities," Dyer said.
Schools that do not make AYP are put in Needs Improvement status. Because Gainesville Middle has not made AYP in the past, it will be a Needs Improvement 3 school next year. South Hall Middle, on the other hand, will be a Needs Improvement 1 school.
South Hall Middle needed two students with disabilities and several ELL students to pass the math CRCT to make AYP.
"I think our special education students are out of that, leaving us only ELL. Because the (AMO) went up this time it threw us for a loop. Math is no longer just a computation test, it's a lot of words," Principal Paula Stubbs said, adding she had fewer teachers to assist these students in learning English.
"There are things we can do and things we have the power to do. I will not blame this on the budget cuts. This is solely on my shoulders. Our children can do this, they just sometimes need more time."