AYP is determined by several factors including: student attendance; results of standardized tests, such as the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests; results of the Georgia High School Graduation Test; and graduation rates.
The Cherokee School District did not make the list due to performance of the county's English language-learning students on the math portion of the CRCT, and special needs students on the math and language arts portions of the high school graduation test.
But there is still a chance to make the list.
With the results of summer re-tests still pending, the final AYP results will be released in September.
Kenneth Owen, director of school improvement, said, "70.9 percent of English language-leaner students passed the math portion of the CRCT district wide. We needed 28 additional students to pass in order to meet the absolute bar of 75.7 percent, which may happen once re-tests are calculated into the formula."
As for the special needs students, 65.5 percent passed the math graduation test, while 82.8 percent passed language arts, Owen said.
The district needed passing rates of 76 percent and 90.8 percent respectively on the tests to reach AYP.
Cherokee County Schools that did not make initial AYP based on the preliminary results include:
n Cherokee High School, which was due to the performance of Hispanic, special needs and economically disadvantaged students on the math portion of the Georgia High School Graduation Test, and the school's graduation rate is also beneath the standard of 85 percent;
n Johnston Elementary, Creekland Middle and Dean Rusk Middle due to special needs students not reaching standards on the math CRCT;
n Clayton Elementary for underperformance of economically disadvantaged student on the math portion of the CRCT;
n Hasty Elementary for special needs students not meeting mandates on the math and reading/language arts portions of the CRCT, and English language learners not meeting standards of the reading/language arts portion of the CRCT;
n Holly Springs Elementary due to the performance of special needs students on the reading/language arts portion of the CRCT;
n Polaris Evening School, a non-traditional high school, due to performance of all student subgroups on the math and language arts portions of the graduation test, and based on the school's graduation rate.
The results are up from last year's preliminary report, in which five schools - Canton and Oak Grove elementary schools, Teasly Middle School, Cherokee High School and Polaris Evening School - did not make the initial AYP list.
Districtwide, however, the school district made the initial list last year. And when the final results were released, Teasly met all the requirements.
According to information released Friday by Superintendent Frank Petruzielo, Dean Rusk Middle School is expected to make AYP once final results are released this year.
It is also possible for Clayton, Hasty, Holly Springs and Johnson elementary schools, as well as Creekland Middle School to make the final list, according to the information.
Not making AYP for the second year puts Cherokee High School and Polaris Evening School into "needs improvement" status.
"We have a lot of kids in a lot of different backgrounds," Cherokee High School Principal Debra Murdoch. "Some of the subgroups struggle more than others."
Students can be classified in multiple subgroups, based on ethnicity and learning ability. Schools are penalized based on the performances of each sub group, not the performance of individual students.
AYP is a mandate of the federal No Child Left Behind Act passed in 2001.
Statewide, there is an increase in the number of school that did not initially make AYP.
This year, only 63.2 percent of schools made AYP, compared to 71 percent last year, according to data released by the Georgia Department of Education. Further, the number of schools on the "needs improvement" list is up to 17.5 percent, compared to 15.4 percent last year.
State School Superintendent John Barge blamed the results on increased requirements.
"We have many great schools in the state providing a high-quality education to all students," Barge said in a statement. "But the rate at which the academic bar and the graduation rate requirement increased this year prevented more schools from making AYP. We knew we were up against the proverbial wall because this bar increases each year, and it begins we have begun to hit it."
Neighboring Cobb County saw similar results. Neither the Cobb County School District nor Marietta City Schools met AYP.
Results show that 30 Cobb schools and three Marietta schools did not make the initial list.