Reading scores of third-graders improve across Garfield County |

Reading scores of third-graders improve across Garfield County

Third-grade reading scores improved in public schools across Garfield County compared to last year’s group of third-graders, according to preliminary data released by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) and local school districts on Tuesday.

Scores for the youngest group of students required to take the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) tests were up across the board in both the Roaring Fork Re-1 (Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt) and Garfield Re-2 (New Castle, Silt and Rifle) school districts.

In Re-1, 73 percent of the 362 third-grade students tested in March scored proficient or better on their CSAPs, compared to 65 percent for the district’s third-graders in 2010.

“Certainly, we were pleased with the increases in the scores all across the district,” Re-1 Superintendent Judy Haptonstall said. “We will be looking forward to the rest of the CSAP scores coming in at the end of July.”

The CDE issues a preliminary report of third-grade reading scores each May. State testing results in reading, writing, math and science for all grade levels taking the CSAPs are released later in the summer.

Third-grade reading scores improved at all four Roaring Fork Re-1 elementary schools compared to last year.

Glenwood Springs Elementary School, which was placed on a priority improvement plan by the state after the 2009-10 school year, saw an increase in third-grade students scoring proficient or advanced from 46 percent last year to 62 percent this year.

GSES also saw the number of third-grade students scoring “unsatisfactory” decrease from 21 percent last year to 14 percent this year.

Testing results were better for both Anglo and Latino students, as well.

Just 25 percent of Latino third-graders at GSES scored proficient or better last year. That number improved to 46 percent this year.

Third-grade Anglo students at GSES improved from 76 percent proficient/advanced last year to 93 percent this year.

Sopris Elementary School in Glenwood Springs saw an overall increase from 79 percent reading proficiency last year to 83 percent this year, including 100 percent proficiency for the school’s third-grade Anglo students. Latino student test scores at SES also improved, from 60 to 66 percent.

Crystal River Elementary School in Carbondale had an increase in third-grade reading proficiency from 55 percent to 76 percent, including an improvement for Latino students from 48 percent to 71 percent proficient or better.

Basalt Elementary School saw its overall third-grade proficiency score increase from 66 percent to 69 percent.

The number of third-grade students taking the CSAP reading test at two charter schools in Carbondale is somewhat smaller; 14 at the Re-1 charter Carbondale Community School, and 22 the state charter Ross Montessori school. Both schools had 100 percent of their students score proficient or advanced, according to the CDE data.

Meanwhile, scores released for Garfield District Re-2 reflected the highest percentage of proficient or advanced students in the history of CSAP testing for the district.

Of the 402 third-graders tested this spring, 73 percent scored proficient or advanced, compared to 61 percent last year. It’s the first time in 10 years that Re-2 has matched the state average.

All of the district’s elementary schools either maintained or increased their scores over the 2009-2010 scores, in some cases by more than 20 points.

“We are very pleased for our students, our staff, our families and our community,” Re-2 Superintendent Susan Birdsey said in a prepared statement. “These scores illustrate what is possible through deep collaboration, careful attention to data-driven reading instruction, and focusing instruction on the individual needs of the student.”

Elk Creek Elementary School in New Castle had the highest score in the district, and the highest in the school’s three-year existence, at 87 percent proficient or advanced.

Three other Re-2 schools also had their best third-grade reading proficiency scores ever, Cactus Valley Elementary in Silt at 82 percent, Highland Elementary in Rifle at 71 percent, and Wamsley Elementary, also in Rifle, at 63 percent.

“Our principals and teachers have been working very hard across the district, and it is paying off,” Birdsey said. “We are hopeful that the rest of our scores will reflect the hard work of the district’s staff and students as well.”

Garfield District 16 in Parachute, which has only one group of third-grade students at Bea Underwood Elementary School, saw a slight decline in its overall third-grade reading proficiency, from 62 percent last year to 60 percent this spring.

However, the percentage of “unsatisfactory” scores in the Parachute school declined from 22 percent last year to 11 percent this year.

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