State issues Westfield school assessment report

Franklin Avenue School
Franklin Avenue School (The Westfield News)

WESTFIELD, Mass. (The Westfield News) – At Monday’s School Committee meeting, Westfield Public Schools Superintendent Stefan Czaporowski gave a preliminary presentation on the data released in last week’s 2016 Assessment and Accountability Results from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

In the state report, schools are classified by rankings of Level 1 to 5 based on MCAS and PARCC results from the spring of 2016, among other indicators.

School Classification:

  • Level 1 schools are meeting proficiency gaps and narrowing goals for aggregate and high needs students.
  • Level 2 schools are not meeting proficiency gaps and narrowing goals for aggregate and/or high needs students.
  • Level 3 schools are in the lowest performing 20% of schools including subgroups.
  • Level 4 are the lowest performing schools, and Level 5 are chronically underperforming schools.

The report gave Westfield Public Schools a Level 3 ranking overall, as it did last year. A district receives a Level 3, if one or more of its schools are classified as Level 3. This year, four schools received a Level 3 classification, including Munger Hill Elementary, South Middle School, Westfield High School, and Westfield Technical Academy. The other elementary schools and North Middle School were classified as Level 2, with the exception of Franklin Avenue Elementary School, which received a Level 1 ranking.

School Accountability Information
(Courtesy: The Westfield News)

The superintendent said that Franklin Avenue Elementary School and its principal Frances St. Peter-Sanft deserve congratulations for improving from a Level 3 to a Level 1 school.

“We are very proud of the hard work by staff, students and families at Franklin Avenue to reach Level 1 status. This is no easy task to achieve and requires collaboration from all stakeholders,” he said.

Czaporowski said the school administration is studying the data, and will be giving a more in-depth presentation to the School Committee in a State of the Schools address in December. The district will also be meeting with the state about the Level 3 schools, to see exactly why those four have received the classification.

Denise Ruszala, Westfield’s director of assessment and accountability, will also be scheduling meetings with the superintendent and each of the principals to review subgroup performance by grade level, to analyze trends for each grade and subject area, and to study how to achieve maximum progress and performance.

“We see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Czaporowski said.

Czaporowski said that because schools across the state took both MCAS and PARCC tests last year, comparisons are not equal. He also said that everything would change again when the new MCAS II test comes out in 2017.

DESE confirmed in its press release that it would not be reporting aggregate statewide results for grades 3-8 in English language arts and math in 2016, because it was unable to take a representative sample. The Department said it will return to reporting statewide results in 2017, when all students in grades 3-8 will take the next-generation MCAS in English language arts and mathematics.

Statewide results were released for the grade 10 English language arts and mathematics tests as well as the science and technology/engineering tests at grades 5, 8 and in high school, because those tests were given statewide.