Every local school district failed to make adequate yearly progress (AYP) on meeting federal No Child Left Behind targets this year. Now districts and schools are looking at ways to work with staff and students to bring up scores as they gear up for a new school year.

Many are drafting school improvement plans, amping up professional development, and working on increasing teacher collaboration to bring up scores.

Some schools, including Lafayette High in James City County, missed targets because a new AYP graduation rate that requires 80 percent of students in a district to graduate within four years. Other schools and districts were affected by the removal of a law allowing them to add 2 percentage points to the test scores of students with disabilities.

Data is still preliminary, so school districts have a window for appeals with the Virginia Department of Education. Newport News filed an appeal for one school it believes met all benchmarks, but didn't specify which one. Isle of Wight filed an appeal for Westside Elementary.

Most local schools aren't affected by federal sanctions for missing targets for consecutive years. Those only affect Title I schools, which have a majority low-income students and receive federal funds. Consequences include allowing students to transfer out of schools or revising school improvement plans.

York County school officials said they don't have any new information to share about their results. Here's what other localities had to say.

Hampton

In Hampton, eight of 30 schools met AYP. Scores weren't reported for the now-closed Mallory, Lee and Wythe elementary schools or Spratley Middle, but all missed AYP, according to VDOE. Every middle and high school also missed targets.

Hampton High is the only school that missed the new graduation requirement, so it wasn't really a factor in the district's overall results, said Paula Brown, the district's director of instructional accountability.

She pointed to third-grade English scores in explaining why so many elementary schools took a dive, including seven that made it last year but missed goals this time.

Most elementary schools fell short in third-grade English, she said, adding that the testing company, Pearson, raised the passing rate to 25 of 35 questions instead of the original 23 of 35 stated by the VDOE.

"In most of the elementary schools, math is fabulous, science and social studies are improving, Virginia studies is at 90 percent," she said. "It's just this English piece. I don't want to blame it on that, we have to work harder, we have to get the kids where they need to be, and we are going to do that."

The district raised the pass score on its local quarterly benchmark tests from 61 percent to 70 percent, and rewrote it to be more rigorous and a little longer in preparation for state tests, Brown said.

She said the district will continue to implement tutoring and school improvement plans, and will focus on any student who did not meet targets this year.

"My belief system is that if you work for 100% of the students to pass, then 100% of students in every subgroup will pass," she said.

Newport News

In Newport News, 24 of 38 Newport News schools did not meet AYP goals this year.

Heritage was the only high school to miss AYP because of its graduation rate, said spokeswoman Michelle Price. Additionally, Kiln Creek Elementary School would have made AYP if the new special education change hadn't been in place.

"The district is using stimulus funding to provide resources to teachers to strategically develop interventions for students," Price wrote in an e-mail. "The systemic approach to interventions involves developing individual success plans for identified students who are at risk because of lack of attendance, behavior issues and course failure. In addition, NNPS now uses literacy and math formative assessments to measure student mastery in addition to quarterly tests. Teachers use the results of these assessments to re-teach identified objectives.