Healdsburg Unified School District students are showing improvements in math, chronic absenteeism rates, and more according to the most recent California Data Dashboard results, which were recently reported at a Jan. 15 Healdsburg school board meeting.
The dashboard is comprised of reports based on six state indicators: academic indicator; English learner progress; chronic absenteeism; graduation and suspension rate and college and career readiness. The dashboard is a component of the “Local Control Funding Formula,” which was passed in 2013. The law changed how the state provides funding to public schools and how it holds local educational agencies accountable for student performance.
The dashboard tool uses color to indicate the level of progress. For instance positive movement/high increase would relate to green and blue sections and negative movement would relate to yellow and red.
This is the third year of school data dashboard results for the district.
“Yellow is worse than green. Red is not good, orange is not good, yellow is OK, but there is room for improvement. Green is good, green is where we want to be and blue is pretty darn amazing,” explained Erin Fender, the district’s director of curriculum and instruction.
Areas of growth
The dashboard data is based on stardized tests given to students in third through eighth grade, and 11th grade. This time around, the dashboard shows signs of improvement in math and are at the yellow level of progress.
Four student subgroups — English language learners (EL), Hispanic, socioeconomically disadvantaged students (SED) and students with disabilities (SWD) — improved by 10 or more points.
EL students improved significantly—19 points—moving from red to yellow, and SWD students improved by 15 points.
“We are heading in the right direction,” Fender said.
On the other hand, there was a 30% decrease for 11th-graders in math.
Chronic absenteeism also saw some improvements and Fender said the district, as a whole, is at the green level of progress in this category.
Although SWD students are the subgroup with the highest absentee rate, all subgroups either improved or maintained their rate.
English language arts also saw an overall improvement. All subgroups improved, and SWD students moved from the red to orange category demonstrating a significant improvement of 40 points.
College and career readiness also saw growth. College and career activities include seminar courses, AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program participation, PSAT participation and other college prep activities.
Overall, the district is at the yellow level and Healdsburg High School is at the green level for college and career readiness.
Room for improvement
Despite gains in several categories, there is always room for improvement and this can be said rates.
According to the dashboard results, the district improved by 6.8% and moved from red to yellow in suspension rates.
Fender said last year at this time 26 middle school students were suspended. The HUSD trustees asked if interviews were done with these students after their suspension.
Fender said interviews were conducted and staff administration monitored and shadowed students for a day.
Overall suspension rates are highest among EL, Hispanic and SED students, however, Hispanic, SWD, and SED students are no longer in the red.
Fender said the administration will continue using restorative practices and team building to work on the issue.
The district overall, is at the orange level for graduation and the only subgroup at the blue level is white students. Hispanic and SED students are at the orange level.
"We need to pay special attention to our subgroups,” Fender said.
She said the high school will continue after school tutoring, credit recovery programs, parent outreach, restorative practices and other tactics to work on improving graduation rates at the high school.