It's All in the Numbers for Greenwich Students

Greenwich Public Schools Focus on scores, enrollment and racial imbalance.


Statistically Flat, But Above State and National Average Scores

Results on the College Board's  Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) for Greenwich High School's 2012 graduating class were released last week with scores showing slight declines as compared to the prior year.

Students averaged scores of 563 in reading, 578 in mathematics and 576 in writing, decreases of 3 points in reading and writing 7 points in mathematics.

Superintendent Dr. William McKersie stated that “statistically speaking our scores were flat as compared to last year” with the release noting that variances of less than 4 points not considered significant.

Compared to the rest of Connecticut, Greenwich beat the state averages of 506 in reading, 510 in writing and the average math score of 512. Similarly, Greenwich scores topped national averages of 496 in reading, 488 in writing and 514 in mathematics.

With the percentage of students taking the test increased 1 percent to 88 percent, the district highlighted that SAT scores have trended upwards over the last decade and that other measures including participation and scores on Advanced Placement tests and National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists continued to be at state-wide high levels. Specifically, 17 GHS students recently were named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists, a level that ties for 2nd highest in CT.

On the Advanced Placement (AP) testing front, GHS students have averaged scores of 3.7 - 4.0 over that past 10 years with 45% of GHS 2012 Class qualifying for college credit on one or more AP exams. During that same 10-year period the number of AP exams taken has increased from 743 to 1,557, and the number of students taking AP classes has increased from 385 to 678.

The next SAT will be administered on Oct. 6.

Balancing Act Continues

Superintendent McKersie is set to meet with the Commissioner Pryor on Oct. 5 to continue discussions on Greenwich’s racial imbalance challenge.

Back in June, a letter from Connecticut Commissioner Stefan Pryor, indicated that Hamilton Avenue and New Lebanon schools were cited as being racially imbalanced and Old Greenwich and Western Middle Schools were cited as being impending imbalanced.

The initial letter requested a submission of a revised plan to address the racial imbalance at Hamilton Avenue and New Lebanon by Sept. 14, and requested the the Greenwich superintendent attend the Oct. 3 State Board of Education meeting to explain the revised approach.

However, the timeline changed following an Aug. 6 meeting between McKersie, Deputy Superintendent Dr. Ellen Flanagan and Commissioner Pryor.

McKersie reported to the Board of Education at its Sept. 20 meeting that the "big message" was that the Commissioner wants the efforts of the district in this regard "to be in the flow of ongoing work."

Accordingly, McKersie said that while crafting an action plan, "budget and budget development timelines will be considered." Ultimately, McKersie reveals that "our plan is to implement at least part of a solution in 2014-15, after careful planning over the next year.'

SBAC to be piloted in Greenwich

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) , a state-led consortium working to develop the "next-generation assessment" system aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) by the 2014-15 school year, has chosen Greenwich as a pilot district.

Specifically, according to Superintendent McKersie, the Consortium requested Greenwich's Hamilton Avenue School be a participant in the assessment pilot.

Regarding the selection, McKersie states that "we are pleased to support the pilot of this new assessment and are anxious to have the opportunity to obtain first-hand knowledge on what the assessment is like in its preliminary form."

The computer-based SBAC will replace the current state assessments of CMTs and CAPT.

Enrollment Stable, But Could There Be Redistricting in the Future?

The Board of Education will meet again Oct. 4 with the Annual Enrollment Update on the agenda.

The district hit "a peak of 11,110 students in 1970, enrollment trended down over the next 18 years to 6,453 students in 1988." According to the report, enrollment for the 2012-13 school year is 8,838, down just 1 student from 2011.

While enrollment district-wide is expected to remain stable, "significant  increases and decreases among individual elementary and middle schools could potentially result in the adjustment of school attendance areas."

Compared to current enrollment figures, the projection indicates that by 2017, increases can be expected at:

  • Cos Cob from 434 to 539;
  • Glenville from 409 to 502;
  • New Lebanon from 261 to 301;
  • North Mianus from 465 to 496;
  • Western from 503 to 604.

Schools projected to decrease are:

  • North Street from 387 to 308;
  • Hamilton Ave from 352 to 316;
  • Old Greenwich from 395 to 366;
  • Parkway from 239 to 205;
  • Riverside from 481 to 402;
  • Central from 602 to 540;
  • Greenwich High from 2,672 to 2,578.

Stable enrollments are projected for:

  • ISD from 366 to 364;
  • Julian Curtiss from 344 to 339;
  • Eastern from 782 to 779.

The board's Oct. 4 work session will take place at 7 p.m. in the Havemeyer Building, 290 Greenwich Ave.



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