Re-1 scores higher than last year in accreditation
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – District accreditation and school performance ratings for the three school districts serving Garfield County remained mostly unchanged from last year, according to new designations released Tuesday by the Colorado Department of Education.
Roaring Fork School District Re-1 maintained its “Accredited” status, the second highest designation under the CDE’s rating system. Re-1 earned the same designation in 2010.
The system, which was used for the first time last year, rates school districts and individual schools on a points basis. Categories include academic achievement, academic growth from year to year, and academic growth gaps between different groups of students, primarily native English language students and those still learning the language.
High schools are also rated based on the post-secondary/workforce readiness of their students.
The new system replaced the former “school report cards,” which rated schools and districts as a whole from unsatisfactory to excellent, primarily based on Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) testing scores.
Re-1, which includes Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt schools, saw a boost in its overall points earned under the current system, scoring 72.4 out of a possible 100 points. The district’s score was 66.1 last year.
The district is still approaching state benchmarks for academic achievement, but meets them for academic growth, growth gaps and post-secondary/workforce readiness, according to the CDE report.
“These ratings recognize the outstanding teaching that takes place every day in every school throughout our district and are a testament to our staff’s commitment to quality instruction,” Judy Haptonstall, superintendent of Roaring Fork schools, said in a prepared statement.
Particularly notable, she said, are the five schools that scored 80 or more on the 100-point scale: Basalt Elementary, Basalt Middle, Glenwood Springs Middle and Glenwood Springs High schools.
Schools are required to submit a specific plan to the CDE based on how many points they earned. Higher-scoring schools (at or above 80) present a “performance plan.”
Schools scoring between 64 and 80 are to submit an “improvement plan,” followed by “priority improvement” plans for schools between 52 and 64.
The lowest-scoring schools (below 42) must submit a “turnaround” plan. No area schools fell into that category.
Glenwood Springs Elementary School improved from a priority improvement school last year to a performance school this year, according to the CDE report.
“They did a real honest evaluation of what needed to change right away, and made some substantive changes before the end of the school year,” Haptonstall said in a follow-up interview.
Only one school in Re-1, Crystal River Elementary School in Carbondale, will be required to present a priority improvement plan after dropping below 50 points.
“It’s not for a lack of working hard and trying there, either,” Haptonstall said. “They have also made some important changes, and took a long time preparing their plan last year.”
Re-1 school board President Matt Hamilton also commented on the overall high scores across the district.
“The board of education is proud of the achievements of all of our staff and students and is dedicated to ensuring our professional teaching staff and schools have all the resources needed to continue to be successful,” he said.
Meanwhile, Garfield Re-2, with schools in New Castle, Silt and Rifle, and Garfield District 16, with schools in Parachute and Battlement Mesa, both maintained their Accredited with Improvement Plan status, same as last year.
Re-2 schools were found to be approaching state benchmarks in the four categories, scoring 53.9 points on the 100-point scale. The district had seven schools achieving performance plan status. The remainder must submit improvement plans. No Re-2 schools are to submit priority plans.
“We are pleased with our performance as a district, and as individual schools,” Re-2 Superintendent Susan Birdsey said. “The adoption of the new standards and developing assessments aligned to the new standards will be the focus in years to come.”
District and individual school performance reports, as well as statewide information, can be found on the Colorado Department of Education’s website at http://www.schoolview.org/performance.asp
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