1. Title I, Part A; Title I, Part C; Title I, Part D; Title II, Part a and Part D; Title III; Title IV; idea; Perkins; ehcy

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FY15 Descriptors

1. Title I, Part A; Title I, Part C; Title I, Part D; Title II, Part A and Part D; Title III; Title IV; IDEA; Perkins; EHCY

A description of the process the LEA used to determine the academic needs of its student body including the unique needs of students served through each applicable federal program. An analysis of the results should be included.

The school improvement planning process of the Pulaski County School System began with site-based management to develop and implement individual school improvement plans for each school within the system. The Rauhauser School Improvement model (based on Effective Schools research), along with local initiatives, has been utilized for a number of years. Each school in the system has incorporated the team approach to lead faculty and staff members through this multi-year planning process. Each school uses the school improvement process to conduct a SACS school improvement accountability plan. Every school in the Pulaski County School System is SACS accredited, earning the SACS District Accreditation in 2014. At regularly scheduled system level staff meetings, school administrators offer reports of the school improvement process. Through these meetings, Central Office personnel are included in the decision-making process for all major curriculum and instructional matters. All system-level administrators and school-level administrators have been involved in the Georgia Leadership Institute for School Improvement Base Camp and Summit trainings. The GLISI process supported and enhanced our school improvement efforts and contributed to our SACS planning process. Our desire for continuous improvement in student achievement and meeting the needs of all students has been the cornerstone of the Pulaski County School System's support of additional funding sources through available grants. Each school has been in a detailed self analysis in the quest for these funds. Pulaski County Middle School has been involved in a similar process for several years during the application process for the Title II-D Technology Grant, and Hawkinsville High School has recently been involved in an in-depth self-analysis and received funding for the Comprehensive School Reform Grant, since 2008 has been involved in the PAGE High School Redesign Initiative, and beginning in FY 2011 is a recipient of the School Improvement Grant SIG (1003g). In Fy14 RT3 funds were used to continue many initiatives that were started during the prior grant periods. The Pulaski County School System participates in all state mandated state testing programs annually to determine the needs of all students inclusive of Homeless, English Language Learners, and Migrant students with the use of the following assessment tools: End of Course(EOC), The Georgia High School Writing Test (GHSWT), The Georgia Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (GKIDS), The state criteria for eligibility in the Early Intervention Program (EIP), and Georgia Alternate Assessment (GAA). Teachers also use the Pyramid of Interventions and a combination of the appropriate initial assessments to identify special needs students for referral to the Special Education Department, which then follows up with a comprehensive psychological assessment for placement determination. The System Assistant Superintendent together with school level Assistant Principals for Instruction and the System testing coordinator, examines and disaggregates the test results of all students and subgroups; e.g., SWD, ethnicity, gender, etc., and presents these results to the Local School Board, local school staff members, parents, and the community. This information is also displayed and evaluated through the use of a Balanced Score Card made available through the local website. We are currently involved in building capacity in the area of assessment by training school improvement team members in test analysis. The software Thinkgate will be used as an additional tool for analysis of student data. The result of this disaggregation is used for assessment, evaluation, and instructional planning for individual and group needs. Targeted student needs as outlined in the Pulaski County School System local plan. Pulaski Elementary School used 2013 CRCT data to determine targeted students to focus on for the 2013-14 year. Walkthroughs were conducted to determine instructional strengths and weaknesses in math classrooms, to identify teachers in need of support in order to enhance instructional strategies and best practices in Math, to give specific feedback to teachers in need, developed professional learning to develop the needs for targeted teacher and conducted walk-throughs to monitor strategies.

In 2013-2014 PCES identified at risk math students using specific criteria including previous year’s state assessment. From this list 53% of these students had met in the previous year. According to the 2014 spring assessment data, 66% of these students met or exceeded on the math section of the CRCT. Due to the strategies implemented within the math classrooms, PCES students exceeded the state average in math. Science and Social Studies are areas of concern as PCES continues to score below the state average.

At Pulaski County Middle School, in Reading and ELA the area of greatest concern is 6th grade ELA where 6% did not meet standards. W e are continuing to increase efforts in Math to try to increase the percentage of meets and exceeds. The percentage of did not meets for Math at the 7th grade is our greatest concern with 25% did not meet. Pulaski County Middle School Science and Social Studies Scores are nowhere near where we want.

Our analysis of 2014 high school data indicates: Slight increases were seen on the EOCT in the areas of 9th Grade Literature, American Literature, and Biology.

The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) submitted to the U. S. Department of Education (US ED) an application requesting flexibility through waivers of ten Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) requirements and their associated, regulatory, administrative and reporting requirements. On February 9, 2012, Georgia’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) Flexibility Waiver was approved by the US ED. Two of the ten requested waivers directly affected supplemental educational services (SES) and public school choice (Choice). The waiver allows local educational agencies (LEAs) greater flexibility in designing a flexible learning program tailored to the needs of their school and will have the capacity to serve more students in need for additional academic support.

According to the ESEA guidelines:

Pulaski Elementary: Math continues to be a focus for PCES in order to close the achievement gap, and more emphasis on Science in grades 3 – 5.

Pulaski Middle School: Our focus for 2014-2015 will continue to be on Science for all grade levels and 7th grade Math.

Hawkinsville High School: Was taken off of the Priority list in the Fall of 2013. Many of the SIG initiatives were continued through the Race to the Top Scope of Work for FY14.

This information will be updated each school year and added to the system website at www.pulaski.k12.ga.us . The goals from the Pulaski County School System three-year system improvement plan are in effect until fall 2016 and will be reviewed and revised at that time by the System Planning Committee. The CRCT, EOCT, Georgia Milestone and SLO test data is disaggregated in a variety of ways including by grades, subgroups, and curriculum areas. This data is shared with administrators, teaching staff, and the local school board. Specific curriculum needs of subgroups and grade levels are then addressed by the teaching staff at each level. These results are also shared with the parents and community through the local system website, newsletters, local newspaper articles, School Councils, PTO meetings, parent conferences, and hard copies located in the media centers and at the local board office. Student academic assessment data, school attendance, disciplinary information on student and staff infractions, and safety issues will be analyzed each year to determine how to address student needs with regard to safety, drug awareness, violence awareness, bullying awareness, peer mediation, and conflict resolution. In addition to the preceding data, surveys for students, staff, and parents will be administered each fall and/or spring to determine: Safety Concerns, Frequency and type of safety-related incidents, Frequency and type of drug- and tobacco-related incidents. The results will be shared with staff and parents in the fall of each year.

Pulaski County Schools' Assistant Superintendent (who serves as the Title II-A Coordinator) uses a written Needs Assessment Worksheet to address the issues of teacher and paraprofessional highly qualified status, class size, recruitment and retention needs, and staff professional development needs. This needs assessment is comprised of information garnered from the principals through the Title II-A Needs Assessment Worksheet. Principals, teachers, paraprofessionals, other staff members, parents and community members participate in surveys conducted in the spring and summer of each year. Recruitment and retention needs are identified informally throughout the year through administrative meetings. Other sources of information include the Georgia Professional Standards Commisssion Equity Technical Assistance reports, CPI reports, AYP reports, student achievement test data such as Georgia Milestone Assessment Date, the School Report Card and school improvement plans. More collaboration will be garnered from business partners, Higher Educations, and with parents and school system personnel to accomplish the annual needs assessment, prioritization of needs, and action planning that addresses all equity components through community meetings such as Rotary, Archway Committee, and the Pulaski Education Foundation.

As of the end of the school year 2013-2014, all schools in the Pulaski County School District were 100% Highly Qualified. The Pulaski County School System is 100% HiQ.

Pulaski County School System uses bands to determine the experience level of teachers. The Experience Level Bands are as follows: Low – Less than three years, Middle – Three to twenty years, and High- More than twenty years. Teacher experience at Pulaski County Elementary School (PCES) is 3 teachers are at the Low level (6.52%), 27 teachers at the Middle level (58.7%), and 16 at the High level (34.78%). Teacher experience at Pulaski County Middle School (PCMS) is 2 teachers at the Low level (10.53%), 14 teachers at the Middle level (73.68%), and 3 teachers at the High level (15.79%). Teacher experience at Hawkinsville High School (HHS) is 1 teacher at the Low level (4.17%), 16 teachers at the Middle level (66.67%), and 7 teachers at the High level (29.17%). The teacher experience for Pulaski County School System is 6 teachers at the Low level (6.74%), 57 teachers at the Middle level (64.04%), and 26 teachers at the High level (29.21%).The system has been concentrating on the professional learning in each school for the teacher evaluation tool Teacher Keys. Embedded in this process is extensive attention to differentiation within classrooms. Teachers at each level have also attended specific professional learning workshops for differentiation and the middle school attendees have had the opportunity to redeliver to each teacher in the school.
Pulaski School System exceeds state guidelines for class size. Federal funds, Title I, II-A, and other grants, have afforded us Class Size Reduction teachers. The average class size for each school is as follows: Pulaski County Elementary – 17, Pulaski County Middle – 22, and Hawkinsville High School – 20.

Teacher retention rate for our schools is as follows: Pulaski Elementary – 89.13%; Pulaski County Middle – 68.4%; and Hawkinsville High School – 75%. This is a system average of 77.51%.

For a small community and school system, Pulaski County has had the opportunity to recruit teachers who are highly qualified or have an acceptable pathway to become HiQ. Pulaski County was 100% HiQ in FY 13.

All paraprofessionals are HiQ.

Pulaski County has seen improvement in most areas when looking at our State test data. Due to these improvements and the realization more improvements are needed the prioritized needs addressed in our needs assessment have not changed for the upcoming year. Through our Needs Assessment process, the following needs have been prioritized for Pulaski County Schools:

FY 15 Prioritized Needs:

  • Lower student/teacher ratio through class size reduction;

  • Retention of highly qualified teachers and paraprofessionals;

  • Recruitment of highly qualified teachers and paraprofessionals;

  • Professional learning to meet diverse needs of all students.  

However, after the equity plan was submitted and published, the principals of Hawkinsville High School and Pulaski County Middle School retired.  Pulaski County School District is placing a high need on induction of the two new principals and the two new assistant principals.

The FY15 Equity Indicators Selected for focus are: a)Teacher Preparation and Ability to Meet Diverse Needs of Students - Administrators and academic coaches will perform focus walks to look for differentiation in classrooms. When deficiencies are observed the teachers will take part in job embedded professional development to address the deficiencies and b) Class Size Equity -Pulaski County will use any available funds to reduce Class size for two reasons: 1) To insure equity throughout the system and 2) to improve test scores in Math and ELA at all schools. The system currently uses Title IA and Title IIA funds to assure all students are receiving the smallest class size feasible. However, after the equity plan was submitted and published, the principals of Hawkinsville High School and Pulaski County Middle School retired. Pulaski County School District is placing a high need on induction of the two new principals and the two new assistant principals.

2. Title I, Part A; Title I, Part C; Title I, Part D; Title II, Part D; Title III; IDEA; EHCY

A description of high-quality student academic assessments that the LEA and schools will use:

  1. To determine the success of children in meeting the State student academic achievement standards, and to provide information to teachers, parents, and students on the progress being made toward meeting the State student academic achievement standards;

  2. To assist in diagnosis, teaching, and learning in the classroom in ways that best enable low-achieving children served under applicable federal programs to meet State student achievement academic standards and do well in the local curriculum;

  3. To determine what revisions are needed to projects so that such children meet the State student academic achievement standards;

  4. To effectively identify students who may be at risk for reading failure or who are having difficulty reading, through the use of screening, diagnostic, and classroom-based instructional reading assessments;

The assessments to be used by the Pulaski County School System to determine the success of children in meeting state student academic achievement standards are determined by the grade level of the students. All students, including Homeless, English Language Learners, and Migrant are assessed at the appropriate grades with the following assessments. Student assessments used at Hawkinsville High School include the Georgia Milestone End of Course (EOC) in Physical Science, Biology, Coordinate Algebra, Analytical Geometry, U. S. History, Economics, 9th and 11th Grade Literature; the Georgia High School Writing Test, ASSET Test, PSAT, ACT and SAT. Pulaski County Middle School students will be assessed using the Georgia Milestone Assessment End of Grade (EOG) in each grade level. Pulaski County Elementary School uses the GKIDS in Kindergarten, the EOG in grades 3 – 5, All ELLs are required to be assessed annually using the ACCESS for ELLs assessment to determine the students progress towards attainment of English language proficiency. Pulaski Elementary will administer the DIBELS three times during the year to monitor progress and as a continuous assessment as needed for struggling readers. Revisions are made continuously as formative assessments (such as benchmark tests, teacher-made tests, rubrics, etc.) are reviewed. To measure reading comprehension, Pulaski County Elementary School uses Fountas and Pinnell reading comprehension benchmark assessment three times a year in grades Kindergarten through fifth. Pulaski County Schools uses a number of high quality academic assessments in addition to those identified by the state to determine students' success: To determine success on standards and progress being made toward meeting standards, and to inform teachers, parents, and students (e.g., state required assessments, benchmark tests, teacher made tests, rubrics, computerized assessments); To assist in diagnosis, teaching and learning in the classroom (e.g., state required assessments, local or commercial tests and rubrics aligned to standards and curriculum and designed to access students' specific knowledge base, teacher made tests and rubrics, computerized assessments, e.g., Odyssyware, Thinkgate,); To determine what revisions are needed to projects (e.g., rubrics aligned to standards and curriculum and designed to access students' specific knowledge base, teacher made tests and rubrics, computerized assessments); To identify students who have difficulty reading (e.g., state required assessments, standardized and other commercially prepared screening and diagnostic instruments, computerized assessments – stand alone, program integrated, and internet based, classroom-based instructional reading assessments and rubrics). At the beginning of each school year all students receive a survey for parents to complete which includes questions concerning housing. If a response leads to suspicion of homelessness, our Homeless and/or Parent Liaison confirm this through a home visit. Through coordination with school personnel and other agencies these determinations are also done throughout the year. The Home Language Survey is used for the initial screening for other language students. It is included as part of the initial registration and for students as they enter school during the school year. We have adapted the Home Language Survey from the GADOE to meet Pulaski County School System's needs. Students entering our school district whose home language is not English are given the W- APT as soon as possible after they enroll, if there are no records from the previous system. The school district has also incorporated the Occupational Survey Form to screen for migrant family students. Below is a sample of the numerous resources used by the Pulaski County School System to share our student needs and progress with: Teachers: Staff meetings Professional Learning Opportunities, Memos, Team/Department/Grade level meetings, and Email. Parents, students, and community: Open House for parents and community, Parent conferences and meetings to address testing concerns, Newsletters, GADOE Website, Student report cards, I- Parent, System website, Local and area newspapers, System Report Card, Letters and memos, phone calls, individual student test results, Email, PTO meetings, Back to Basics Night at PCMS, Grade-level parent meetings at PCES, transition orientations for each school, Facebook posts, and church bulletins.

3. Title I, Part A; Title I, Part C; Title I, Part D; IDEA; EHCY

A description of how the LEA will participate, if selected, in the State National Assessment of Educational Progress in 4th and 8th grade reading and mathematics of the National Education Statistics Act of 1994 and how the results will be used in the local educational agency.

Pulaski County School System will participate in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in 4th and 8th grade reading and math if selected. All students in the Pulaski County School System including the Homeless students will participate in the (NAEP) determination, if applicable. The data compiled will be analyzed and disaggregated to determine the greatest needs for our students and will be used in making decisions for improving instructional strategies. We are continually striving to meet national standards and will begin using assessments on the NAEP website to guide instruction in the classroom. The Heart of Georgia RESA is collaborating with schools to maximize on the resources that are available through NAEP. All reading practice test items will be available for our 4th, 8th, and 12th grade teachers to use to guide instruction.

4. Title II, Part D; E-Rate

A description of strategies to share system progress, disseminate evaluation results, encourage broad stakeholder involvement, and market the role technology can have in helping students achieve in innovative ways.

5. Title I, Part A; Title I, Part C; Title II, Part D; Title III; IDEA

A description of how the LEA will provide additional educational assistance to individual students assessed as needing help in meeting the State’s challenging student academic achievement standards. The description must include the following:

  1. Specific mention of disadvantaged students, migrant students, limited English proficient students, and students with disabilities.

  2. Specific steps the LEA will take to ensure that all students and teachers have increased access to technology.

  3. Specific steps on how the LEA will utilize available funds to support after school programs (including before and after school and summer school) and school-year extension programs.

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