Gifford earns state academic award

GIFFORD — School board members learned that Gifford Grade School had received a state academic excellence award and were told of upcoming changes in the Illinois Standards Achievement Test.

Superintendent Vic Grimsley told the board this week that the Illinois State Board of Education had given the school its Academic Excellence Award.

The award is given for making adequate yearly progress in 2011 and 2012 and having 90 percent of the students meeting state standards in both reading and math for the three most recent school years.

Adequate yearly progress is a measurement defined by the federal No Child Left Behind Act that allows the U.S. Department of Education to determine how every public school and school district in the country is performing academically according to results on standardized tests.

The board also learned of changes to ISAT tests.

"Last year's scores in reading and math were a combined 92 percent of students meeting and exceeding (standards) on the ISAT test, (but) would now be at 67.5 percent ... with the new scoring changes in place," Grimsley said.

The district will send out information to parents explaining the changes.

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