As a result of the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 a new class of students exist in Virginia Public Schools. This group of students with disabilities is a larger, harder to define population who are known as the “gap kids” or “gray-area kids”
Students is being defined under No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Students with disabilities who are not significantly cognitively disabled but who may be severely learning disabled or mildly mentally retarded. Students perform at a higher level than those with severe cognitive disabilities – too high to be assessed based on alternate achievement standards. Learning well below grade level. Students often function 3 to 5 years below grade level. Students do not meet the criteria of the Virginia Alternate Assessment Program (VAAP).
Under the No Child left Behind Act of 2001, P.L. 107-110, at least 95% of students with disabilities are required to participate in assessments that measure adequate yearly progress of schools, school divisions, and the Commonwealth of Virginia.
In the latest round of interpretation of (NCLB), schools/ districts are allowed to include the proficient scores of 1% of the students with the most significant cognitive disabilities who participate in alternate assessments based on alternate achievement standards.
However, currently there may be a small number (?) of students with IEP’s in grades 9-11 who will not be enrolled in any courses for which there is an end-of-course Standards of Learning assessment, will not be working towards an advanced studies diploma, standard diploma, or modified standard diploma, and will not meet the criteria of the (VAAP).
The current trend of school district is to simply instruct the IEP team to use this option for any student (you are not sure will test well on the SOL tests).
If this option is used the student is not allow to enroll in the courses and take the test required to earn an advance studies diploma, standard diploma, or modified standard diploma and also are not counted towards the schools Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).
Currently the Virginia Department of Education does not keep any data on the number of “gap kids or gray-area kids” there are in each school district.
What are the consequences of being a Gap kid or Gray-area kid in Virginia if you are in High School?
Students in grades 9-11 are not enrolled in courses that have an end-of –course Standard of Learning assessments. Therefore the student does not earn a standard unit of credit or a verified credit required to graduate with a Standard or Advanced Studies Diploma. Additionally, students do not qualify for remediation or tutoring since they are not enrolled in any of the courses that have an end-of –course Standard of Learning assessments.