Re-1’s success story | PostIndependent.com
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Re-1’s success story

Roaring Fork School District Re-1 officials say the district’s annual report tells “a story of success.” Released this week, the annual report summarizes the progress RFSD students made during the 2004-05 school year, including previously published No Child Left Behind statistics, CSAP scores, graduation rates and other data. The annual report illustrates that RFSD students are succeeding and they’re not on the Front Range, where many large schools are known for their good academic performance, said school board member Brad Zeigel. “I just think it shows that, kindergarten through high school, we’re getting our kids opportunities for success,” he said. “It says a lot for our communities.”School board members, particularly Bob Johnson, heavily touted RFSD’s graduation rate at Wednesday’s board meeting, saying it’s one of the many statistics outlined in the annual report that parents can be proud of. The overall graduation rates among RFSD high schools ranged from Bridges High School’s 71 percent to Basalt High’s 83 percent in 2005, well above the state standard of 57 percent. Both Roaring Fork and Glenwood Springs high schools had a 78 percent graduation rate. Latino graduation rates throughout the district were below state averages – 52 percent for both Basalt and Roaring Fork high schools and 55 percent at Glenwood High. School Board President Michael Bair said there are three things to consider when looking at graduation rate statistics: education, culture and economic conditions. Those are important when considering Latino graduation rates because cultural and economic conditions often dictate that Latino students have a job and tend to family obligations before graduation, Bair said. “Often the challenge is to get students to take more challenging coursework,” said Superintendent Fred Wall. “Graduation and future success depends on students focusing on higher level English and math courses. Counselors and teachers helping students set plans as early as the end of eighth-grade helps ensure students can graduate with the coursework they need to be successful.”Latino academic achievement continues to be a challenge for RFSD, as illustrated in the district’s Adequate Yearly Progress statistics released in September. Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, states must determine whether each school met specific criteria for academic achievement.Many of the RFSD schools that failed to achieve AYP did so because they were not able to sufficiently improve Latino students’ standardized test scores. But the achievement gap between Latino and Anglo students is closing, Wall said, adding that Anglo student scores are well above state averages. “This is a tribute to the work our staff has done on focusing on the individual needs of students,” Wall said. “It is a challenge for a teacher to meet the needs of all the students in a class.”Despite lagging Latino CSAP scores, the report shows that Latino students in third through eighth grades are growing academically faster than Anglo students in reading and language, but are generally showing slower growth than Anglo students in math. The annual report breaks each subject area down by the percentage of students earning each available letter grade. By that measure – letter grades do not necessarily reflect standardized test scores – RFSD students are most successful in physical education and least successful in science. Fifty-three percent of all P.E. students made As in 2005, while only 34 percent of science students made A’s. On the other end of the scale, 16 percent of science students scored F’s that year, while only 4 percent of P.E. students scored an F. One percent of music students scored an F. Other indicators of RFSD’s academic success for the 2004-05 school year:• District-wide annual attendance rate: 98 percent. • District composite ACT score: 20.3. • 52 percent of advanced placement students who chose to take the A.P. exam passed it. Copies of the RFSD annual report are available from the district office in Glenwood Springs. Contact Bobby Magill: 945-8515, ext. 520bmagill@postindependent.com


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