Monday, October 15, 2012

The Level 4 List: Henry Lord Middle School (Fall River)

The Henry Lord Middle School in Fall River, which serves grades 6 through 8, was named to the state's Level 4 school list in January 2010. Lord's student population is nearly two-thirds White; the low income population has ranged from 73.2 to 84.3% since 2007-08 while the Limited English proficiency population has ranged between 0 and 1.9%. In 2011-12, 26.4% of students spoke English as a second language and the special education population stood at 23.7% (Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education).

On the 2009 MCAS exam, 45% of students overall were proficient or advanced in English Language Arts (ELA) while 32% were proficient or better in math. Two years before that the percentage of students proficient or better in math at each grade level ranged between 14 and 22%; from 1998 - 2007, 8th math proficiency rates ranged from just 1 - 14%. Before Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) was phased out  due to the No Child Left Behind waiver granted to Massachusetts in 2012, Lord had not met AYP at the subgroup level in ELA since 2004. Additionally, in 2008-09 students missed an average of 11.4 days of school and the attendance rate was 93.2%.

Since being designated a Level 4 school, proficiency rates on the MCAS exams at Lord improved in 2010 only to fall back to pre-Level 4 designation levels in 2012. Below are the percentage of students who were proficient or better on each section of the exam from 2009 - 2012.


In 2012, the percentage of students in ELA receiving a 'Warning/Failing' grade increased 4 percentage points while the percentage of students receiving a score in this range in math decreased 5 percentage points. At the subgroup level, approximately half of all African American students failed the math MCAS exam while no students with disabilities were advanced in either math or ELA. There were also a considerable achievement gaps between low income and non-low income students on the 8th grade science/technology exam. On a positive note, Lord met its target for Hispanic/Latino students in ELA on the 2012 MCAS exam. Overall, the school was in the 18th percentile relative to schools serving common grades.

Test scores are not the only area in need of improvement at Lord. The attendance rate and average number of absences has actually worsened since 2008-09. The retention rate, however, has decreased 2.5 points over the past three years.

Avg. # Absences11.413.213.915.1
Attendance Rate93.2%92.3%91.7%91.2%

If the school meets all of the requirements, Lord can exit Level 4 status at the end of the 2012 - 13 school year.


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