To the Parents/Guardians of Thomas Starr King Middle School:

The purpose of this letter is to inform you that our school continues to be identified as a Program Improvement (PI) school under the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001.  Our school will remain a PI Year 5 school.

What is PI?
NCLB requires the state and district to review annually the academic progress of federally-funded Title I schools and to identify schools in need of improvement.  These schools are identified as PI schools after two consecutive years of not making adequate yearly progress (AYP).  California determines AYP by considering the following four measures:  
  • The percentage of students scoring at the “proficient” or “advanced” level on the California Standards Tests for English-language arts and mathematics;
  • The percentage of students participating in those tests;
  • The graduation rate for high schools;
  • California’s own accountability measurement of progress, the Academic Performance Index (API).    

Why is our school identified as PI?
The reason our school continues in PI is because it did not achieve AYP in 2006-07.  The AYP area(s) that caused the identification are:
  • YES  English Language Arts (ELA)
  • YES  Mathematics
  • YES  Test Participation Rate ELA
  • YES  Test Participation Rate Math
  • NO  Academic Performance Index (API) 
  • NO  Graduation Rate
The school’s 2006-07 Accountability Progress Report may be obtained from the school or the California Department of Education (CDE) website at

Public School Choice (PSC)-Parental Right to Request a Transfer to a School that is Not PI
All parents/guardians of students attending a school in PI status have the right to request a transfer of their child(ren) to a Non-PI district school with district-paid transportation through the CHOICES Brochure.  The District provides parents who have applied for PSC through the CHOICES Brochure with the choice of two Non-PI schools for eligible students.  Participating students receive transportation provided by the District for as long as the home school remains identified as a PI school. 

If the home school exits PI by making AYP for two consecutive years, the student can remain at the school; however, transportation will no longer be district-paid.  If the demand for choice exceeds funds available, priority will be given to lowest achieving, low- income students. 

If you are interested in transferring your child(ren) to a Non-PI school in the District for the 2008-2009 school year, you may apply for Public School Choice in the 2008-2009 CHOICES Brochure.  The brochure will be mailed to parents of all students enrolled in LAUSD schools in November 2007, and the deadline to submit the CHOICES Brochure is January 2008.  The CHOICES Faire will be held on Saturday, December 8, 2007, 9:00 a.m. at UCLA Ackerman Union.  There will be an opportunity to receive information on PSC, as well as other traveling programs. 

Parents selecting the PSC option will receive the academic achievement data of the Non-PI schools as part of the selection process.  Your preference of a Non-PI school will be taken into consideration.  If you have questions regarding Public School Choice or the 2008-2009 CHOICES Brochure, please contact me or Specially Funded Programs Branch, at (213) 241-6990. Additional information can be obtained at:  
The availability of Supplemental Educational Services (SES) for your child
Students from low-income families at PI years 2-5 schools, whose parents did not select a public school choice option, are eligible for free SES.  These services include tutoring and other supplemental academic enrichment activities which occur outside the regular school day with tutorial providers approved by the State Board of Education.  The services are designed to increase the academic achievement of eligible children.  If the number of eligible students who apply for the SES program exceeds the financial resources available, the lowest achieving students from low-income families will receive SES first.

If you are interested in SES, please review the SES/Free Tutoring Brochure mailed to you on May 31, 2007.  Return the SES sign-up sheet to the district or your child’s school by October 19, 2007.  If you need assistance in making a selection of an SES provider(s) for your child(ren), or you need another sign-up sheet, please contact the free tutoring coordinator at your child’s school.  Questions regarding SES/Free Tutoring may be addressed to the Beyond the Bell Branch at 213 241-7900.  More information is available at the Beyond the Bell website at:

What will the school do to address the problem of low achievement? 
We are working closely with district staff to revise our school plan to include:
  • Strategies, policies and practices that utilize scientifically-based research and have the greatest likelihood of ensuring that all groups of students will meet the state's achievement targets;
  • High quality professional development for school staff that will lead to removing the school from PI status;
  • Strategies to promote effective parental involvement in the school.
District and State support for schools in PI Year 5 (Restructuring Implementation)
Schools in PI Year 5 must continue implementing the restructuring plan written during the previous year(s).  The implementation of the restructuring plan will be monitored by the PI Branch and the local district.

How can parents become involved?
Research shows that strong parental involvement leads to student success at school.  Parents interested in partnering with the school are encouraged to contact my office for additional information regarding:
  • Parental involvement policies;
  • School-parent compact;
  • Ongoing parent/community meetings;
  • Advisory committee/School Site Council meetings;
  • Parent volunteer opportunities.
We will keep you updated and informed about opportunities to discuss plans for our school. If you have any questions, need additional information on how you can get involved in our school improvement efforts, or would like to discuss the school’s instructional program and Program Improvement status, please feel free to call me and/or visit the school.

Kristen A. Kaiser, Principal