Partnership Zone School (Round 2) Profile: Bayard Middle School

September 7th, 2011

Category: News

On September 1st, 2011, Secretary Lowery and the Department of Education announced the 6 schools chosen to participate in round 2 of the statewide Partnership Zone Initiative (for more information about the Partnership Zone, see our previous blogs). This blog is the second of a six part series detailing these six schools (for part one, click here).

Bayard is a middle school located in Wilmington, Delaware that served 656 students in grades 6-8 in 2010 (enrollment information is not yet complete for this year). In 2008 the school was converted from an elementary to a middle school. Enrollment declined by 112 students in 2010, and African American and low income populations have become larger proportions in the past year. Bayard serves a much higher proportion of low income and African American students than both the district and state.  

Based on 2011 DCAS spring scores (50% of the determination for PZ schools), Bayard students:

  • Demonstrated the lowest scores in the district, trailing significantly behind the other 3 middle schools. They were also among the lowest five middle schools in the state (out of 46).
  • Demonstrated just 28% proficiency in 6th and 7th grade and 36% in 8th (compared to the district’s average of 47% and the state’s of 61%). In math, 6th graders were 13% proficient, 7th 21%, and 8th 33% (compared to the district’s average of 46% and the state’s of 60%).

Based on DSTP historical trends (2008-2010, the other 50% of the determination), Bayard students:

  • Have seen proficiency declines each year in 6th grade, consistently trailing the district and state (which in comparison have either seen mild or no declines from 2008-2010).
  • Have seen proficiency declines in ELA in 7th and 8th grade, trailing as much as 25% behind the district and 38% behind the state (both of which also saw declines from 2008-2010).
  • Have seen slight proficiency increases in math in 7th and 8th grade while still trailing as much as 40% behind the district and 37% behind the state.

Bayard has failed to meet AYP both before and after its middle school conversion, is on Academic Watch, and is “Under School Improvement”. While there are a number of initiatives in place (AVID, Springboard AP, Learning Link of Delaware partnerships) or planned, and principal Donald Patton has made some significant changes to the staff, it’s clear that more dramatic changes need to be made.

The DDOE is reviewing requests for qualification from organizations who may be invited to present to school and district leaders this month. Several of these organizations have both experience and success with turning around low-performing schools. It’s not clear yet what the results of the first round of PZ schools will be, but it is clear that Bayard cannot keep doing what it has been doing.

Two of Bayard’s feeder schools (Bancroft and Stubbs) are also PZ schools, meaning hundreds of students who graduate from Bayard each year will enter high school having attended low-performing schools for as many as 9 years (K-8). This is simply unacceptable, and it cannot continue. It’s time for school leaders and the community to come together to ensure that future students get the education they deserve.

Christina’s next School Board Meeting  will be on Tuesday, September 13th at Bancroft Elementary.

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Brian Yin



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