Evans High School failed to make “adequate yearly progress” last school year, according to results released Wednesday by state education officials, despite pronouncements after summer school that Evans would make the grade.
The school’s 83.9 percent graduation rate in the 2010-11 school year fell short of the 85 percent minimum needed to make AYP as defined by the federal No Child Left Behind law.
Earlier this year, school officials said Evans High needed just nine more students to graduate during summer school to meet the minimum requirement.
Principal Don Brigdon seemed confident that enough students reached that goal during a summer school graduation ceremony in July. A phone message left for Brigdon wasn’t immediately returned Wednesday.
Two Columbia County middle schools made AYP after initially failing to do so.
Enough pupils at Grovetown and Harlem middle schools passed summer retakes of the Criterion-Referenced Competency Test to meet progress standards.
In Richmond County, seven schools made AYP after initially falling short: Bayvale, Goshen, Jamestown, Jenkins-White Charter, Lake Forest Hills, National Hills elementary and Morgan Road Middle schools.
Richmond County schools spokesman Louis Svehla said the district, which saw 25 of its 55 schools make AYP in 2010-11, had a few near misses. For example, Cross Creek High School found itself in a similar situation to Evans High. The only indicator on which Cross Creek missed was graduation rate, at 82.6 percent.
McBean Elementary fell just short by having 15.1 percent of its pupils absent more than 15 days last school year. The state requirement is no more than 15 percent absent more than 15 days in a school year.
The state Department of Education uses scores on such standardized exams as the CRCT and End of Course Test to help determine AYP. On those tests, pupil populations are broken down into subcategories, including race, disabilities and socioeconomic status.
If a large enough group in any subcategory fails to meet the minimum standards set by the state on those tests, then the entire school is deemed not to have made AYP.
As a second consideration, elementary and middle schools must meet minimum requirements on attendance rates, and high schools must meet minimum graduation rates to make AYP.
The graduation rate measures the number of students graduating within four years of entering high school. The minimum standard for making AYP is a moving target, increasing until it reaches 100 percent of students in all measured subcategories meeting state standards by 2013-14 unless the federal law is changed before then.
In the 2009-10 school year, the minimum graduation rate to make AYP was 80 percent, which Evans High did with 82.8 percent. For 2011-12, it is set at 90 percent.
Because Evans High met the graduation rate requirements last school year, it faces no state penalties. Should it miss the target again this year, the school would be listed as Needs Improvement and face such sanctions as allowing students to transfer to a higher-performing school.
However, that might not remain a concern.
State Superintendent John Barge earlier this year applied for relief from the AYP standard in Georgia. There has not yet been an answer to that application.
Staff Writer Jason Wermers contributed to this article.