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Sopris Elementary does the math

Going by Colorado Student Assessment Program test scores released Tuesday, Sopris Elementary spells success M-A-T-H.

The CSAP test, which students took this spring, showed 96 percent of third-grade math students at Sopris scored proficient or advanced ” 28 points above the state average. Anglo students scored 100 percent proficient or advanced, and Latinos 87 percent. Statewide, CSAP math scores improved overall.

“We’re very pleased,” said Judy Haptonstall, Roaring Fork School District Re-1 assistant superintendent. “It’s always good when the scores go up instead of down. It’s certainly a compliment to our teachers and principals.”



Haptonstall credited Re-1’s districtwide math program and the presence of a math expert at the school for the school’s improved math scores.

“We adopted a brand-new math program, and the teachers really like that program,” Haptonstall said. “We had a statewide math expert at Sopris and Glenwood elementaries nine weeks out of the school year, too.”



Sopris Elementary Principal Howard Jay said the combination of an experienced staff and supportive parents has made a difference in improving his school’s CSAP scores. The CSAP is the annual test for third- through 12th-graders that assesses academic standards of students, schools, districts and the state.

“Our scores are due to a lot of hard work by the staff and also our parents. Our goal is to make our kids successful,” he said. “We had a veteran staff, which certainly helps.”

Additionally, fourth-grade math results ranked high by state standards at Sopris, with 79 percent of students scoring proficient or advanced. Sopris students also scored high in reading and writing proficiency.

“We just really focus on making sure our kids know how to read, write and do math,” Jay said. “We don’t focus too much on CSAPs because we figure if we teach them how to read, write and do math, the CSAPs will take care of themselves.”

Haptonstall was also pleased to see Glenwood Middle School sixth-graders follow Sopris Elementary’s suit in math scores. They increased their scores 28 points.

“Math is really where Glenwood Middle School excelled. They had some real strengths,” she said. “We’re really pleased with their scores because that’s been an area of concern. We haven’t been able to get going on that. There’s been a huge leap in progress with the Latino kids.”

Sixth and seventh-grade Latino reading scores at the middle school, and the scores of Latino students at Glenwood Springs High School improved in all subjects. At 74 percent, ninth-grade GSHS reading scores were the second-highest in the district.

With at least 16 students taking the test in each grade, Bridges High CSAP scores were released to the district for the first time. Haptonstall said Bridges scores topped the district.

“For ninth-grade reading, they scored 80 percent, the highest in the district in the proficient or advanced ” that’s way above the state average, which is 65 percent,” she said. “The 10th-graders scored highest of all the scores in reading ” the highest in the district.”

With all the district’s CSAP score success, Haptonstall said there always remains room for improvement. She said Re-1’s fifth-grade reading, writing and math scores are the of the biggest concern to the district.

“We have to look at what’s going on in the fifth grade ” is it the program, is it the instruction, is it the materials?” Haptonstall said. “And we’re always looking for ways to improve Latino kids’ proficiency.”

To improve fifth-grade scores, the district plans to revisit CSAP results from years past and speak with teachers and administrators about dynamic scores, Haptonstall said. She said she would also like to help Latino kids taking the CSAPs who speak English as a second language.

“We’ve added all kinds of support systems for kids who haven’t tested well, including increasing tutoring and before or after-school help,” Haptonstall said. “We are consistently focusing on our attention to individual detail.”

Contact April E. Clark: 945-8515, ext. 518

aclark@postindependent.com


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