November 17, 2014


 Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s):

On August 20, 2013, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) received waivers from ten requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965, as amended by No Child Left Behind (NCLB) of 2001.  The state’s ultimate goal is to ensure that all students graduate college- and career-ready through the professional practice of effective teachers and leaders.  ESEA/NCLB requires that parents or guardians who have children attending a Title I school be notified of the school’s academic achievement as well as the school’s designation under Pennsylvania’s ESEA Flexibility Waiver.  This letter is intended to provide additional information concerning the options available to your child under Pennsylvania’s ESEA Flexibility Waiver and to help you understand what the waiver will mean for you and your child.

Beginning with the 2013-2014 school year, PDE began transition from using Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) to determine a school’s designation, to using four Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs) to designate the Title I school as Reward – High Achievement, Reward – High Progress, Priority or Focus schools.  The four AMOs include measuring Test Participation Rate; Graduation/Attendance Rate; Closing the Achievement Gap for All Students and Closing the Achievement Gap for the Historically Underperforming Students. In addition, all public schools in the state are receiving a School Performance Profile (SPP) score based on 100 points. This score is considered the school’s academic performance score, and while not the criteria for determination of Reward, Priority or Focus status, it details student performance through scoring of multiple measures that define achievement. The School Performance Profile also includes supports to permit schools to access materials and resources to improve in defined areas related to achievement.

Despite the progress made by our students, New Day Charter School has been designated as a Priority School under Pennsylvania’s ESEA Flexibility Waiver for the 2014/2015 school year.  This designation was based on 2012/2013 test data and our school will keep this designation for three years.   

Priority Schools are Title I schools that are among the lowest 5 percent of Title I schools in the state based aggregate Mathematics and Reading proficiency for PSSAs and/or Algebra 1/Literature for Keystone Exams and has demonstrated a lack of progress on those assessments over a number of years; or, schools designated under the School Improvement Grants (SIG) program.  

Proficiency on PA achievement tests are a major concern to the staff of NDCS.  

The percent of students that scored proficient or advanced on the PSSA test administered during the 2012-2013 school year were:

        o Math – 21.4%   Reading – 7.1%   Science – 18.2%   Writing – 20%

The percent of students that scored proficient or advanced on the Keystone test administered during the 2012-2013 school year               were:

        o Biology – 7.3%   Literature – 8%   Algebra I – 4.9%

The percent of students that scored proficient or advanced on the Spring 2014 administration of the PSSA and Keystone exams had          combined scores of: 

        o Math/Algebra I – 18.92%    Reading/Literature – 25%  Science/Biology – 16.67%  Writing – Insufficient Sample                                                   

The results of a root cause analysis performed by the faculty and administrators of NDCS identified student attendance and discipline as barriers to student achievement. The staff has been working collaboratively since then to revise attendance & discipline policies that will help overcome those barriers to achievement.

As a Priority School, we will work collaboratively with parents/guardians, our community, and our school district office to develop a school turnaround plan which will implement interventions to respond to the specific needs of the students in our school.  

To address student attendance and discipline issues New Day Charter School as implemented a Student Advisor program.  Each student will be assigned a faculty advisor that will work closely with their group of students.  It is the advisor’s role to communicate with the student and their parents to identity possible barriers to achievement and develop plans to overcome those barriers.  We believe this proactive approach to prevent attendance and discipline issues will have a positive effect on student achievement

An important part of the success plan for New Day Charter School is parent participation and support in developing activities to improve student achievement.  We hope that, as a parent/guardian, you will become involved in our school improvement initiatives as we continue to monitor student achievement and set high expectations.  If you are interested in participating in developing our school improvement initiatives, contact Deb Goodman, Principal at 814-643-7112 or  I would also encourage you to contact your student’s faculty advisor.  Advisors are available for parent calls and meetings from 2:40 PM – 3:30 PM daily.

Thank you for all that you do to support your child’s education.


Deborah Goodman