All About Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)
Did you receive a letter from your district stating that your child's school did not meet AYP? Are you confused as to what that means and if or how you should proceed? Aisha Crumbine, our Director of Parent and School Partnerships, answers questions about AYP and how you can use this information to determine what to do next.
What exactly is AYP and how is it determined?
AYP is the abbreviation for what the Texas Education Agency calls Adequate Yearly Progress. Each year, schools are expected to improve or show that it is serving students well based on three measures: Reading/Language Arts; Mathematics and either Graduation Rates (for high school) or Attendance Rates (for elementary and middle schools). Schools that fail to meet AYP two years in a row are placed in one of the following categories: 1) school improvement; 2) corrective action; or 3) under restructuring (undergoing massive staff and under restructuring or undergoing massive staff/administrative changes).
What if my child's school has failed to meet AYP for two or more years in a row? How do I decide if I should try and transfer my child to another school?
There are a few things you should consider when deciding to transfer to another school or not. First, how is your child been performing at his or her current school? Some schools do not meet AYP because a certain group of students do not do well in a particular area (Reading/Language Arts for example). If your child is performing well on his or her report card and standardized tests, you may want to stay put.
And if your child is in a transition year (5th or 8th grade) and performing well, there is probably no need to make a switch. Your child will be transitioning to a new school in the next year and too many moves can have negative effects -- especially if the move is not necessary. Instead of using this time to research a transfer option, begin to research high performing schools for the following year. If your child is a 5th grader, begin to research top-performing middle schools. Similarly, if your child is in 8th grade, get a head start on researching top-performing high schools. On the other hand, if your child is performing poorly, not being challenged academically and/or is distracted socially, a transfer might be a good option.
I've looked at my current school's data and it doesn't look like the best fit for my child (and it hasn't met AYP in 2+ years). How do I request a transfer?
If you choose to take advantage of the AYP School Choice option, you can mail, fax or hand deliver the application (which you can access it here) to the Externam Funding Office, located at 4400 West 18th st., Houston, TX 77092 as early as August 10 but no later than September 14. This does not guarantee that you will be granted admission to your school of choice; academically at-risk, low-income students get top priority, followed by students for whom the district is able to provide transportation to the transfer school. The district mails out acceptance letters between September 24-28, and if you are accepted into your school of choice, you must enroll by October 5, 2012.
So, could the AYP School Choice option help my child get into a really good school?
Absolutely. But it is important to note that while this does create more options, there are some schools that you cannot transfer into. Most notably, the small, higher performing magnet schools within HISD. Those schools are already considered schools of choice and are not considered AYP School Choice options. However, some choice is definitely better than none. Use this as an opportunity to find a school that addresses your child's current needs. Be sure to contact us -- our staff can help you do your homework and find a school that is not only performing at a higher level, but is also a better fit for your child. It will still be important to figure out which school with be right for YOU!
What if I decide not to pursue a transfer or we don't get into our preferred school? What other options are there for me?
You always have the option to stay put. If you choose that option, know that your child may be eligible for free tutoring by an HISD approved tutoring service. These partner tutoring companies provide tutorials before and after school, and some even on the weekends. This could be a great option to help keep your child on the path to college without transferring to another school.