Friday, December 7, 2012

The Level 4 List: South Lawrence East (Lawrence)

The South Lawrence East Middle School in Lawrence, which serves approximately 520 students in grades 5 through 8, was named to the state's Level 4 school list in January 2010. South Lawrence East's student population is nearly 90% Hispanic/Latino; the low income population has ranged from 83.5 to 91.3% since 2007-08 while the Limited English proficiency population has ranged from approximately 10 - 18%. In 2011-12, 79.3% of students spoke English as a second language and 29.3% were special education students (Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education).

On the 2009 MCAS exam, 30% of South Lawrence East students overall were proficient or advanced in English Language Arts (ELA) and 11% were proficient or better in math, just a 1 percent increase in both subjects from the previous year. That year 4% of 7th grade students were proficient or better in math while 71% of 8th grade students fell into the Warning/Failing category in math. Also in 2009, half of the low income student population received an ELA score in the 'Needs Improvement' range. Additionally, before Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) was phased out  due to the No Child Left Behind waiver granted to Massachusetts in 2012, South Lawrence East had not met AYP at the subgroup level in ELA for 6 out of the 8 years listed (2004 - 2011) and in math for any of the 8 years. In 2008-09 students missed an average of 8.3 days of school and the attendance rate was 95.1%.

Since being designated a Level 4 school, proficiency rates on the MCAS exams at South Lawrence East have improved in both ELA and math. 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 math receiving a 'Warning/Failing' grade decreased 18 percentage points from 2009. Further:
  • The percentage of students 'Advanced' in ELA increased 1 percentage points from 4% in 2011 to 5% in 2012.
  • The percentage of students with an 'Advanced' score in math remained the same at 8%.
  • Just over a third (36%) of female students received a 'Advanced' or 'Proficient' score in ELA compared to 23% of males
  • 63% of African American students were proficient or better in math; this subgroup posted a 90.9 CPI
  • The percentage of 8th grade students proficient or better in science increased 7 percentage points from 2010 to 2012
  • South Lawrence met all of its ELA targets at the subgroup and aggregate levels in 2012 and improved below target at the subgroup and aggregate levels in math
In regard to the CPI, which is a score given to assess a subgroup, school or district's progress toward 100% proficiency, South Lawrence East had an overall score of 74.4 in ELA and 59.1 in math; scores range from 0 - 100 with 100 denoting that all students are proficient.

There still is much room for improvement as ELA scores in 2012 were 27 points lower than the state average and math scores 34 points lower. The achievement of students with disabilities and ELL students are also areas for concern.

The average number of absences and attendance rate at South Lawrence East have remained generally the same over the last few years (though absences are up slightly). The retention rate is down 0.6% points in 2011-12 from the previous year while out of school suspensions are down 3%.

Avg. # of Absences8.3%7.9%8.6%9.4
Attendance Rate95.1%95.3%95.0%94.4%

In 2012, the school was in the 5th percentile relative to schools serving common grades statewide.

If the schools meet all of the requirements, South Lawrence East could exit Level 4 status at the end of the 2012-13 school year.


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1 comment:

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