Brayton Elementary School jumps to Level 2 in state testing scores


NORTH ADAMS — Brayton Elementary School's accountability scores under state standards saw a sharp increase this year.

Brayton made the jump from a Level 3 school to a Level 2, landing just shy of Level 1 status, according to data released by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education recently released and discussed by the North Adams School Committee on Tuesday.

"This improvement is I think a result of several years of hard work at our school by our teachers, being led by our instructional leadership which has done a great job coming together over the last three years," said Brayton Principal John Franzoni.

In its accountability scoring system, the state ranks schools on a scale of 1 to 5, with one being the best. The scores the result of complex calculations based largely on Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) test results and the school's ability to narrow the gap between its highest and lowest achieving students.

The rating of the district's other schools remained unchanged; Colegrove Park Elementary School and Sullivan Elementary Schools stayed at a Level 2 and Drury High School remains a Level 3 school.

Brayton students with disabilities both exceeded their goals in the 2016 round of tests, while high needs students and the student population as a whole nearly met their targets under the state's complex scoring system.

"This is exceptional news about Brayton but also very good news about the district," said Mayor Richard Alcombright, who also serves as chairman of the School Committee.

This is the first year that the district integrated the PARCC exams into its annual testing regiment.

Despite the majority of its schools being a Level 2 or better, the district as a whole remains a Level 3 because one or more of its schools are ranked a Level 3 or lower.

The district " 'did not meet target,' but I really tell you that does not tell you the whole story, because you have to look at the detailed report," said Superintendent Barbara Malkas.

"The detailed report shows that our students are continuing to make improvements; we're just not hitting these imposed targets," Malkas said. "But we are continuing to make improvement."

Despite relative success at the 10th grade level, Drury High School continues to work to improve the scores of its eighth-grade students, who joined the high school when the district chose a kindergarten through seventh-grade elementary system.

"The eighth-grade test scores have been a constant issue, and we haven't really been able to crack that case," said interim Principal Tim Callahan.

Callahan spoke to the School Committee about providing targeted interventions to keep students on track and other measures the school is taking to improve scores.

"We know we have a lot of work to do," he said, "and we've been doing this work for a long time."

Contact Adam Shanks at 413-496-6376.


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