GCS to Gain More Flexibility in Using Title I Funds

Guilford County Schools (GCS) will gain more flexibility in the strategies used to improve academic performance in Title I schools when the state's No Child Left Behind waiver application is approved by the federal government.

The Guilford County Board of Education voted Thursday to phase out some of the current requirements of No Child Left Behind starting in the 2012-13 school year. GCS will no longer offer the Supplemental Educational Services (SES) tutoring program. There will also be some changes to School Choice.

Early School Choice was offered to 15 schools for the 2012-13 school year under the board's approval this spring. Students at Allen Jay, Cone, Fairview, Foust, Hunter, Johnson Street, Montlieu, Parkview, Peck, Sedgefield and Sumner Elementary Schools, and Ferndale, Hairston, Jackson and Welborn Middle Schools who selected choice will be provided transportation in 2012-13 and will be able to remain at the choice school through the highest grade level by requesting reassignment, but transportation will not be provided starting with the 2013-14 school year.

Bluford, Union Hill and Wiley Elementary students who are already exercising the choice option will be allowed to continue attending their choice school with transportation provided in 2012-13 and will be able to remain at the school through the highest grade level by requesting reassignment, but transportation will not be provided beginning in the 2013-14 school year. No new enrollees will be offered choice.

Allen Middle, Brightwood Elementary, Doris Henderson Newcomers School, Frazier Elementary and Rankin Elementary will not offer choice in 2012-13.

Under the state's waiver, GCS will have the flexibility to direct the $3.6 million in Title I funds currently supporting Supplemental Educational Services and School Choice to the schools identified as needing the most support. Current No Child Left Behind requirements will be exchanged for state-developed plans to improve schools. This includes replacing the current measurement of Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) with new state measurement objectives and designations for Title I schools: Priority, Focus and Reward.

Five GCS schools are identified by the state as Priority schools. The district will use its flexibility in funding to support school reform at Doris Henderson Newcomers School and Parkview Elementary. Andrews High, Oak Hill Elementary and Wiley Elementary, also identified as Priority schools, will continue following a School Improvement Grant (SIG) model.

Six GCS schools are identified as Focus schools by the state. Aycock Middle, Brightwood Elementary, Dudley High, Ferndale Middle, Irving Park Elementary and Welborn Academy of Science and Technology will receive district support to put interventions in place to address the achievement gaps that exist in their schools.

Six schools are also noted by the state as Reward schools, or high-poverty schools that have achievement gaps lower than the state average. Gillespie Elementary, High School Ahead Academy, Hampton Elementary University Partnership Magnet, Hunter Elementary, Montlieu Academy of Technology and Oak Hill Elementary are included in this list and will be offered the opportunity to apply for incentives from the state.