March 11, 2020


Dear Smithtown Central School District Community,

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) recently released accountability ratings for all school districts and schools throughout the state.  Accountability determinations are made based upon a variety of data, including student performance on the New York State English Language Arts and mathematics assessments, among other things, as part of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

NYSED has designated one of our twelve schools as a Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) school.  As a result of this TSI designation, the Smithtown Central School District has been identified as a Target District.  The complex formula used to determine accountability ratings considers how various subgroups within the school performed on assessments in the 2018-2019 school year.  In addition to actual student performance, the non-participation (opt-out) of students on the assessments is also factored into the accountability calculations.

At a particular school, the students in one subgroup did not meet the performance expectations set by New York State.  It is important to note, however, that this subgroup had a 66.1% opt-out rate on last year’s ELA and mathematics assessments.  Due to the high number of test refusals, the number of students in this subgroup who took the assessments was quite small.  The high number of test refusals was a significant factor in this accountability identification.  

As a result of this identification, the District and school will be required to follow a series of actions that have been prescribed by NYSED over the next two years.

I strongly believe that designating a school as a TSI school based solely on the performance of a small number of students in a single subgroup does not accurately represent the quality of the District, faculty, staff or students.  This identification is not consistent with the actual achievement of the students in the district or in this particular subgroup.

In Smithtown, we educate the whole child and take pride in offering students an outstanding education.  We are honored to serve all students and will continue to support and maintain high expectations for everyone.



Respectfully,


Russell Stewart
Interim Superintendent of Schools