The City, Inc.’s Southside School, a Minneapolis contract alternative school, was one of 20 schools in the state recently honored for making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for two consecutive years after not making AYP for one year or more. On Thursday, February 12th, Bill English, School Director, Kate Benson, Language Arts teacher, and three City, Inc. high school students were honored at an event which took place at the Continuing Education and Conference Center in St. Paul. It was hosted by the Minnesota Center for Reading Research of the University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development.
According to information provided by the Minnesota House of Representatives House Research website (www.house.leg.state.mn.us), the Federal “No Child Left Behind Act of 2001” requires schools to make adequate yearly progress toward students becoming proficient in English and math. The goal of Title I of the Act “is to ensure that all children have a fair, equal and significant opportunity to obtain a high-quality education and reach, at a minimum, proficiency on challenging state academic achievement standards and state academic assessments.” The federal law requires schools to make sure all students and specific subgroups of students, including African American students, are making AYP.
Benson, Language Arts teacher, attributes the City, Inc.’s AYP success to a four-prong approach that includes: a) setting high standards; b) staff consistency; c) creating a learning community that provides positive reinforcement for scholastic achievement; and d) tightening up on behavior issues that may impede academic success.
“After 40 years of serving the community, the City, Inc. has made significant strides with helping students, who for a variety of reasons have not succeeded in more traditional academic settings,” said Fred Easter, President/CEO. “It’s wonderful to be able to share such a great honor with the community, as well as to invite students seeking an alternative learning environment to check us out.”