Schools not accepting Silvis transfers

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SILVIS - Parents are reacting to surrounding school districts not accepting transfers from George O. Barr Elementary.

Silvis contacted surrounding school districts asking if they'd be willing to accept transfers because George O. Barr failed to meet its adequate yearly progress or (AYP) standard for the third straight year in reading. The school district says Colona, East Moline, and Hampton among other school districts have rejected permission for Silvis kids to enroll there.

"This had to be a big embarrassment as the school district," Silvis parent Terry Vervenne said. "This had to be horrid to write."

Vervenne has been upset ever since he got the letter on Wednesday, August 22nd. He's very concerned his children aren't learning as much as they should be.

"When the superintendent's sending stuff and sending mail home like this, it's not a good sign," Vervenne said.

But Superintendent Ray Bergles is looking at his school's AYP results in a much different way. 85% of his third through fifth graders were supposed to "meet" or "exceed" the Illinois Standard Achievement Test in reading and math. However, only 66% of those students met those standards. However, they did improve by 3.7% from last year.

"As long as we keep working, I'll be happy," Bergles said. "It's when you're moving in the other direction when you're in trouble."

Other parents are concerned that the surrounding school districts won't allow their kids to enroll in their districts. Silvis parent Vicki Wright has considered moving her children to the Hampton School District because of George O. Barr's struggles.

"I want the best for them," Wright said. "If the best means moving, then I'll move."

Nonetheless, Bergles is not concerned about parents moving out of his district. George O. Barr is the only elementary school in the Silvis School District. He's also not concerned about the school's AYP results because they keep improving.

"We're making progress, and we're doing a better job," Bergles said. "I think that's the important thing."

Grades 3-5 only have about 180 kids total at George O. Barr. One of the reasons East Moline won't take any of the kids from the Silvis School District is because some of the East Moline schools are in the same boat. George O. Barr is not accepting any of the East Moline School District kids either.

To see the newsletter Bergles sent out to parents, click here.