Greenport schools removed from state list of schools in need of improvement

Academic performance at Greenport’s schools is improving, according to newly-released state education accountability assessments.

The district’s elementary and high school were recently removed from the New York State Education Department’s list of schools designated for Comprehensive Support and Improvement, a category representing the state’s poorest performing schools.

District superintendent Marlon Small announced the good news in an April 18 letter to the school community.

“This accomplishment is a result of the hard work of our students and teachers each day,” he said in the letter.

The standards were created to guarantee New York remains compliant with the federal 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act, which requires that states hold schools accountable for students’ performance.

The system places schools in one of three categories: In Good Standing, Targeted Support and Improvement or Comprehensive Support and Improvement. 

Greenport’s schools moved from the Comprehensive Support and Improvement designation to the Targeted Support and Improvement designation.

Schools receive the CSI designation based on an analysis of numerous factors. At the elementary and middle school level, the indicators include weighted average achievement in English language arts, math, and science.

The designations also take into account the school’s core subject performance in ELA, math, and science, and measure students’ English language proficiency by looking at the percentage of students meeting their individual progress targets on the New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test. 

At the high school level, the state education department considers all these factors along with the district’s graduation rate. A school is identified for CSI if its four-year graduation rate drops below 67% and its five- or six-year graduation rates fall below 67%.

Although it’s good news that the district has been removed from the list of school designated for CSI, Mr. Small notes in his letter that the TSI designation shouldn’t be discouraging.

“Please know that the NYSED designations do not reflect who we are as a school district,” Mr. Small wrote. “We are proud of programs, of the dedication of our teachers and staff, and the hard work and accomplishments of our students.” 

A school receives the TSI designation if one or more of its student subgroups, based on ethnicity, perform at the lowest level on a variety of indicators.

A district is identified as a target district if any of its schools are identified either as CSI or TSI, according to the state education department. The target district and TSI school determinations are made annually, while CSI designations for individual schools are updated every three years.

The Suffolk Times previously reported that Greenport Elementary and High School each received the CSI designation in the 2018-2019 school year.

Mr. Small said in the letter that the district will continue to strive for excellence. 

“As we look to close out the school year, we remain committed to working in partnership with our students, teachers, and parents to provide the best quality learning opportunities that meet the academic, social, and emotional needs of all our students,” he wrote.

The district administered their NYS Grades 3-8 ELA assessments on April 19-20, and the NYS Grades 3-8 Math assessments on May 2 and 3.

“The exams will not only provide us with useful data on the progress our students are making in meeting grade level standards, but our students’ participation will help in our efforts to be removed from these NYSED designations,” Mr. Small wrote.