HCPSS MPIA Request #2019-029

Requested Information
I am requesting any policies and discussion of methods for measuring students who are one or more years behind in reading and math. Also data for the number of students who are 1 or more years behind in reading for the school years 2017-2018, 2016-2017, 2015-2016, 2014-2015, and 2013-2014.
Date Received
Responsive Documents
The indicators teachers use to measure whether a student is On, Above, or Below grade level at the elementary and middle school levels. Please note, there is no below-grade level indicator at the high school level however Secondary Mathematics staff uses MAP scores, performance on PARCC, course performance and articulation/recommendation from teachers per HCPSS Policy 8020 Grading and Reporting: High Schools.
Provides guidance for determining students’ instructional level in reading and assists teachers in measuring whether a student is On, Above, or Below grade level. Teachers utilize the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System as one indicator/progress monitoring tool for grades 1-5. The assessment system provides teachers with precise tools and texts to observe and quantify specific reading behaviors, and then interpret and use that data to plan meaningful instruction for each student. The benchmark assessments are analyzed by reviewing miscues during oral reading and comprehension of text is determined by having students respond to questions that are within the text, beyond the text and about the text. Please note, our Curriculum Office indicates grades Pre-K-1, as this is a time of reading development, is fluid and students are expected to gain proficiency at different rates. While we have quarterly and end-of-year reading benchmarks for students in Kindergarten students are not identified as at risk for reading failure if benchmarks are not met. Teachers and schools monitor and support students not meeting quarterly and end-of-year benchmarks in a variety of ways. At the end of the first marking period in grade one, a student’s reading level is marked as On, Above or Below grade level on the report card.
Available counts of students per school who are one or more grade levels behind at the elementary and secondary levels, per the indicators noted in the documents provided above and per the data parameters included in the file notes. Under both the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), which restricts access to student records, and MPIA GP § 4-313, which prevents disclosure of school district records pertaining to individual students, HCPSS must protect against the potential disclosures of personally identifiable information about students. In accordance, HCPSS follows the Maryland State Department of Education and the National Center for Education Statistics’ guidelines for protecting student privacy in public reporting and suppresses the following from responsive records: populations that fall below 10; percentages that are less than or equal to 5, or greater than or equal to 95; categories directly related to specific student records; and/or information that, when combined with other publicly accessible data, can reasonably identify an individual student or reveals information from an individual student’s record. HCPSS has made substantial efforts to ensure the accuracy of this information; however, data collection and reporting is consistently subject to change. Please be mindful when comparing data as many variances can occur between reports based on date pulled, parameters used, categories included, etc.

*Some request language is summarized to include the requester's specific document requests and legally protected information (such as personally identifiable information of a student) or personal, defamatory and malicious content removed at the discretion of the school system.

**Responses containing legally protected information available only to the person of interest are omitted from the above report.

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