Local schools get high marks | SummitDaily.com

Local schools get high marks

Summit Daily/Reid WilliamsSummit Cove Elementary principal Crystal Miller, center, helps out third-grader Elana Neiley with a change-counting exercise in Shannon Drogsvold's class Thursday. The school earned an "excellent" rating on state report cards.

SUMMIT COUNTY – Summit School District’s report card from the Colorado Department of Education showed local schools passed with flying colors last year.The state released its annual assessment of school performance – the School Accountability Report (SAR) – Wednesday, to the delight of local officials.”We are so proud to have two school ratings of excellent this year and five rated as high,” superintendent Millie Hamner said.The state calculates SAR ratings using schools’ performance averages on the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) tests. Each school in Colorado receives a rating of excellent, high, average, low or unsatisfactory.

Colorado law requires schools rated unsatisfactory to develop an improvement plan. Those schools have three years to overcome the unsatisfactory status or face being converted to a charter school.Summit Cove Elementary received an excellent rating for the first time in its history.”I’m absolutely ecstatic that the staff, students and parents were recognized for all their hard work,” Summit Cove principal Crystal Miller said. “We’ve really been focusing on all kids being readers and writers (and) making sure our literacy coaches are guiding teachers to get kids to those proficiency levels.”Miller also credited a strong push by teachers to bring many children to advanced levels of proficiency.”Our fifth-grade teachers Debra Mitchell and Shannon Drogsvold helped those kids meet advanced benchmarks in math. My feeling is that’s why we got the excellent mark this year. It shows a lot of hard work – it was challenging for them,” Miller added.

Breckenridge Elementary also won the excellent rating for the 2003-2004 school year.”Everyone in our school community works extremely hard – our teachers, support staff, parents and students,” principal Rebecca Wilson said. “We have a real tradition of high expectations that’s supported by all of these people.”We carefully laid out research-based strategies we believed would impact student achievement. And our teachers make sure they don’t just teach to CSAP. They are teaching to state standards they believe are important for children to learn at each grade level,” Wilson added.Silverthorne Elementary was the only school in the district to receive the average rating for the 2003-2004 school year, but “Silverthorne missed rating high by a very small fraction of a percent,” Hamner said.The SAR ratings are rosier than the federal government’s marks on Summit Schools. Under the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act, the district did not make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) during the last school year.

“For the School Accountability Reports, the scores for students who aren’t English speakers are taken out. And, miraculously, our schools are excellent and high. That tells us our challenge is with our immigrant population, and I recognize we have things we need to work on to continue to improve,” Hamner said.Federal requirements include specific performance targets for English Language Learners that, if not met, prevent the entire district from making the grade.School district officials will mail the SARs and the district’s annual report to parents by Dec. 15.Julie Sutor can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 203, or at jsutor@summitdaily.com.

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