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Arizona A-F Accountability System

Dear Amphi Middle School Parent or Guardian:

On Monday the Arizona State Board of Education will publicly release a letter grade (A-F) for all schools in Arizona. These letter grade scores were calculated using the results of the AzMERIT tests and other data from the 2016-17 school year. We want to provide you with some background information that we believe will be useful in understanding our school’s letter grade. Please understand that these new calculations are different than the ones used years ago when the state gave the AIMS tests.

Arizona’s new A-F Accountability System provides schools with feedback where they are excelling and other areas where they need focus.  It is a tool to help schools improve and to help identify which schools are in need of additional support and how to better prioritize learning resources.

Every elementary, middle, and high school in the state will receive a letter grade each year. Preliminary information based on the State Board of Education’s cut scores leads the Arizona School Board to estimate the following: 17% of K-8 schools will earn an “A,” 34% will earn a “B,” 37% will receive a “C,” 9% will receive a “D,” and 3% will receive an “F” grade. 

Based on the state’s new A-F Accountability System, Amphi Middle School’s letter grade is a C.

The state’s definition of a ‘C’ letter grade is: C – Performing: Adequate performance but needs improvement on some indicators – proficiency or growth or graduation rate.

Understanding How Letter Grades are Calculated

The state of Arizona assigned letter grades for K-8 schools based on a complex formula which examines four measures of school performance, weighted as follows:

  • Student Growth (50%): Student growth on AzMERIT English Language Arts and Math in two categories: Student Growth Percentiles (compared to “like” performing peers) and Student Growth to Target
  • Student Proficiency (30%): Student proficiency (passing) on AzMERIT English Language Arts and Math
  • Acceleration and readiness measures (10%): including decrease in chronic absenteeism, improved growth of subgroups, grades 5-8 performance on high school AzMERIT math
  • English Language Learners’ growth and proficiency as measured by performance on AZELLA (10%)
     

A third of the new A-F Accountability System letter grade calculations are directly connected to proficiency scores on AzMERIT English Language Arts and Math assessments. Although our teachers strive every day to teach and prepare our students, we recognize we can improve these scores. Our school also has a high population of English Language Learners, which presents additional challenges as these students’ scores are weighted in three of the different categories. If you would like to review a sample AzMERIT exam you can access it through http://azmeritportal.org.

No school should be judged solely based on a test score.  At Amphi Middle School the teachers and the staff are working hard to improve student achievement, and to ensure our school is an excellent place to learn.  There are multiple programs, like AVID and Project Achieve, designed to support high achievement.  We also support each student’s socio-emotional growth through our Advisory program where teachers dedicate time to ensure our students are ready to learn. 

Parents, please make time to attend your student’s parent teacher conference next week.  Our teachers are prepared to discuss the progress your student is making in their classes.  Each of you was sent information about these conferences and information is available on the school’s website. 

Please contact me if you have questions about this letter or would like to discuss the contents of this letter.  I am proud to work at Amphi Middle School because of the great family support, our excellent, dedicated teachers, and our great students who need and deserve our very best effort.

Sincerely,

Abel Morado Ed.D.
Principal, Amphi Middle School
Amphitheater School District

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