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DPS releases tiers for school improvement plan

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Durham Public Schools has released the list of schools categorized under its Design for Accelerated Progress plan.

The plan gives the lowest performing schools extra help along with a deadline to improve test scores or face sanctions ranging from firings to closure. Schools with better academic performance are allowed to try new educational methods while maintaining their upward trajectory.

Glenn and Y.E. Smith elementary, Chewning, Lowes Grove and Neal middle, Southern High School and Lakeview School are in Tier I, the lowest of the four tiers. These schools will receive additional resources, increased monitoring of their academic improvement efforts and will have top priority regarding staffing needs.

Tier II schools, as detailed in the plan, foster "a climate of acceleration" and will have required professional development as well as constant self-assessment and district evaluation of school leaders. Schools in this tier include Hillside and Northern high, Githens Middle and Fayetteville Street and Holt elementary.

Tier III schools "have exhibited higher levels of proficiency and growth." These schools will focus on utilizing data to improve teacher and student performance and implement major initiatives. Schools in this tier include Hillside New Tech and Riverside high schools, Carrington and W.G. Pearson middle and Little River and Parkwood elementary.

Schools in Tier IV are considered the highest performing in the district. These schools are encouraged to try new strategies, including principal peer mentoring and professional learning communities. Mangum, Hillandale and Pearsontown elementary are in this tier, along with Durham School of the Arts, City of Medicine Academy and Middle College and Early College high schools.

Go here to read more about the plan and view the complete tier list.

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About the blogger

Stanley B. Chambers Jr. covers Durham Public Schools and other K-12 education issues in Durham. He can be reached at schamber@nando.com.