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Vermont Agency of Education Releases First Annual Snapshot

June 20, 2019
ESSEX JUNCTION, Vt. - The Vermont Agency of Education has released the state’s first annual Snapshot, an online tool that shows quantitative data for several indicators of school performance. The Snapshot contains information about each public school in every supervisory district and supervisory union in the state.

“As a superintendent in Vermont, I am looking forward to having a dashboard of data that will help inform our decisions moving forward. We have received academic data for many years, but it will be great to have data that informs our whole system and it will be useful in identifying areas of growth and need,” said EWSD Superintendent Beth Cobb.

The data in the Snapshot will be used to help the EWSD enhance its continuous improvement plan (CIP) going forward, and track that progress in future years. The Snapshot shows how schools are performing in five key areas of Vermont’s Education Quality Standards:

  • Academic Proficiency
  • Personalization
  • Safe, Healthy Schools
  • High-Quality Staffing
  • Investment Priorities

The annual Snapshot will be released by the Vermont Agency of Education in three stages. The first phase is the release of the academic proficiency data (June 20). A second version will be released later this summer with several additional indicators, and a more complete version will be available in December of 2019.

The first phase of the Snapshot included only information about how schools are performing in the first domain: Academic Proficiency. The Snapshot provides a school and district score on state assessments in English/language arts, math, and science based on 2017-2018 data. In addition, the Snapshot provides a school score for how subgroups of students that are described as “historically marginalized” performed against students who are described as “historically privileged.” Students in the “historically marginalized” group include students of poverty, students with disabilities, English Language Learners, and racial groups.

The Agency’s release of the new accountability system revealed that of the approximately 250 schools in the state of Vermont, 137 (55%) were identified as needing equity supports. Three schools in the EWSD (Albert D. Lawton, Essex Middle School, and Founders Memorial School) were identified as being eligible for equity supports under the Every Student Succeeds Act based on performance gaps between historically marginalized and historically privileged groups of students. The three EWSD schools listed were each identified as having a performance gap for students with an Individual Education Program and students eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch. The information in this Snapshot was based on Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium data from the 2017-2018 school year.

The EWSD leadership team had already identified a need to address achievement gaps and worked with staff to build a common CIP with a focus on equity. The plan outlines priority areas and specific action steps that the EWSD will take over the next three years to improve achievement gaps, including:

  • Focusing on providing rigorous high-quality classroom instruction for all students
  • Improving upon intervention systems to support struggling learners
  • Implementing school and district Professional Learning Communities with a focus on examining student data and aligning curriculum, instruction, and assessment across classrooms and schools
  • Developing a comprehensive and aligned approach to support the social and emotional learning skills of all students to address student readiness to learn
  • Looking at ways to ensure that students receive breakfast each morning so that they are ready to learn