Most Ferndale Schools Show Growth in State's 2012 'Top to Bottom' List
District outlines research-based school improvement plans to 'systematically address student achievement.'
The Michigan Department of Education released its school report cards on Thursday, listing schools that met state standards through Adequate Yearly Progress and giving new designations to certain schools.
Here's a more detailed look at how each school in the district ranked in the state's annual Top-to-Bottom rankings.
District praises growth, identifies focus areas
The Top-to-Bottom ranking is a way of looking at Michigan schools’ performance. The rankings are based on student proficiency, student improvement, and achievement gaps within a school based on student performance on standardized tests.
Ferndale High School ranked highest and showed the most growth in the district, increasing from the 50th percentile in 2011 to the 79th percentile in 2012. It is also listed as a "reward school" - a new designation from the state - for its recent gains in academic progress.
John F. Kennedy School's ranking increased from the 49th percentile in 2011 to 76th percentile in 2012.
Stephanie Hall, community relations director for Ferndale Schools, said the teachers deserve recognition. "They have reinvented how they teach, they have updated their curriculum, aligned their curriculum with the core standards, focused on different kinds of learners so they could serve them," she said. "This is very good news for them."
Other schools show a need for more growth, Hall said. Among the lowest-ranking schools in the district were Ferndale Middle School (30th percentile) and Roosevelt Primary School (17th percentile), though both showed improvement over last year's rankings.
"Their percentile rankings went up from last year to this year but there is still a great deal of focus that will be on student achievement and growth there at both of those schools," Hall said.
Coolidge Intermediate School showed a decline from 19th percentile in 2011 to 12th in 2012. University High School is no longer on the Persistently Lowest Achieving Schools list but also had a slightly lower ranking this year.
Hall said the district has extensive school improvement plans already underway. "We have the work in place," she said.
Here's what Hall wrote in a district newsletter update on Thursday.
"Our district is well-positioned with its focus on improving instruction. The Data Teams and School Improvement Plans have been developed to systematically address student achievement following a three-to-five year plan of closing gaps in all our schools. Our school improvement plans are rooted in research and designed to empower teachers to focus on deep diagnostics of student performance, engage in professional dialogue, and ensure we demonstrate performance improvement among all students, especially our lowest achieving students. Our goals are driven by consistent strategies that include: creating new instructional leaders, evaluation, high-quality instruction, and intervention."
The district is also planning "School Improvement Mondays," Hall said, in which students will be released one hour early to give teachers time to spend time working together to look at every student's achievement on a weekly basis.
"They're going to be looking at proven, researched strategies to address student performance issues," she said. "They have a very strong instruction improvement plan in place."
Ferndale school rankings
Here is how Ferndale's schools ranked in the 2012 Top to Bottom List. These are percentile rankings- a percentile of 79, for example, means that 79 percent of schools statewide scored below that school's result.
- 79th Percentile Ferndale High School – Rewards School Designation
- 76th Percentile John F. Kennedy School – Focus School Designation
- 50th Percentile University High School
- 30th Percentile Ferndale Middle School
- 17th Percentile Roosevelt Primary School
- 12th Percentile Coolidge Intermediate School
Here are the rankings compared to last year's list.
Ferndale Public School District
|Ferndale High School||79||50|
|John F. Kennedy School||76||49|
|University High School||50||64|
|Ferndale Middle School||30||23|
|Roosevelt Primary School||17||4|
|Coolidge Intermediate School||12||19|
|Ferndale Adult Education||NA||NA|
*A percentile rank of 79, for example, means that 79 percent of schools statewide scored below that school's result.