WALES — The board of education has set a special meeting 6:30 p.m. Thursday to discuss Oak Hill High School’s designation as a “persistently low-achieving school.”

The board meeting in the high school auditorium, will also involve an executive session involving the high school principal and assistant superintendent of schools.

A designation as a persistently low-achieving school allows the schools to apply for federal money for programs designed to boost student performance.

Oak Hill, which has 500 students enrolled, is one of 10 schools in the state to get that designation this year. The full list is to be released today by the state Department of Education.

“These are 10 schools eligible to apply for significant school improvement grant funds,”said David Connerty-Marin, the department’s director of communications. He said the ratings involve performance on standardized tests.

“These are not really the 10 worst-performing schools,” Connerty-Marin said. “They do have lower-than average percentage of proficiency and are not showing a lot of growth over the last three years.”

Part of the requirement to obtain the funds is to replace the principal if the principal has been in place for more than two years.

Oak Hill High School is the only high school in Regional School Unit 4, Litchfield, Sabattus and Wales. Patricia Doyle has been principal since the 2005-2006 school year; prior to that she was vice principal.

School Superintendent Jim Hodgkin said the district was notified a few days ago about the designation, and he has already talked to other superintendents where schools received this designation last year.

“They said we should take some time gather the information and then make a decision about how to move forward,” Hodgkin said. He said that is why the board is planning the executive session discussions with Doyle and assistant Superintendent Cathy McCue.

Hodgkin said the designation apparently resulted from student performance on the SATs.

“One of the things we’re anxious to find out is to see all the scores,” Hodgkin said. “I didn’t think our kids had done that badly. I have to see the rest of the data.”

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]


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