October, 2009

Dear CCUSD Staff, Parents and Community,


As you know, our eight schools are designated Excelling, once again, through the Arizona Department of Education's AZ Learns program.  AZ Learns is Arizona's requirements to meet the national law for No Child Left Behind (NCLB).  Although all of our eig ht schools are designated as Excelling and all eight schools made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), our district did not meet the federal definition under NCLB for AYP.  Simply stated, this is a measurement that ensures that each subgroup of students in our district makes adequate growth or progress in their learning.  For NCLB, if a district has one subgroup that does not make the expected progress, the entire district loses the Adequate Yearly Progress designation.


In CCUSD, we have 255 district subgroups.  These subgroups are for each tested area of the AZ Instrument to Measure Standards or AIMS (math, reading and writing) and for ethnicity, special education categories, English Language Learner designation, poverty status and every tested grade.  Each of the combinations of the previous categories makes up the 255 subgroups for CCUSD. A subgroup must have at least 40 students in it to be considered for AYP and includes all students in the subgroup for all the schools in the category. For example, all district third grade students taking AIMS math who are Caucasian, are one subgroup.


Unfortunately, we had one subgroup in 7th grade that did not make adequate yearly progress in AIMS math.  This group had exactly 40 students in it, with 9 not making expected progress.  For NCLB, this means the district did not make AYP due to one of 255 subgroups not making expected progress.  We want all of our students to make at least one year's growth, if not more, each school year and our teachers and principals are working tenaciously to make sure that this one subgroup especially are given the attention, learning tools and strategies needed to be successful this year and in future years.


Since this is the first time CCUSD has not made "AYP," there are no sanctions against the district and no special filing of plans with the state or federal government.  However, our professional staff has studied the learning areas where these students need assistance and will be tutoring and teaching accordingly.


If you would like further information on NCLB, AZ Learns, AYP or AIMS, please contact Ms.  Ann Furnish, Director of Assessment and Accountability at 480-575-2000.  As always, I will see you in our schools!




Debbi Burdick