After two-and-a-half years of the flexible learning year (FLY) concept in the Redwood Area School District is it making a difference?
That is the question school district leadership answered Monday night as part of a public hearing held in the school board room.
The hearing was being held to meet a state requirement as the school district considers whether or not it is going to apply to the Minnesota Department of Educa-tion for an extension of FLY for three more years.
In advance of allowing the public a chance to share its thoughts on the FLY concept, Rick Ellingworth, RASD superintendent and Darcy Josephson, RASD director of teaching and learning, went through some of the data which has been collected, especially as it relates to the academic progress students are making.
The data at the local school district and 25-school consortium level appears to indicate school district test scores are heading in a positive direction.
At the consortium level, schools are seeing an index rate increase, which is based on a points system that gives points per proficiency level divided by the number of students, in reading and math.
In math at the consortium level, scores since the baseline index rate in 2009 have gone from 80.67 to 82.46.
Math index ratings are unique, as there was a significant drop in the second year of FLY, which Josephson said can be attributed to the fact that the test administered in 2011 was a new, more rigorous test. The index rate of 68.49 in math did rise in 2012 to 73.23.,
At the local district level, the index rate for reading has also increased from a base line in 2009 of 81,26 to 85.75 in 2012.
The math index rating, which dropped in 2011 to 63.98 has also increased based on 2012 scores to an index rate of 71.2.
Two additional meetings are being held, including Dec. 6 at 6 p.m. and Dec. 17 at 5:30 p.m. Both in the school board room. The public is encouraged to attend.
The FLY presentation made at the first meeting may be found online at the school’s Web site which is redwood.mntm.org. The public can look at the data there as well.