Summit School District advancing quicker than majority of state’s students |

Summit School District advancing quicker than majority of state’s students

Kevin Fixler
On average, the Summit School District is outperforming the state when it comes to development in the disciplines of English and math. While Colorado's median is the 50th percentile for both, Summit schools rank in the 59th and 58th, respectively.
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Summit’s students on the whole are advancing at a level that exceeds the bulk of their peers around the state in English and math, according to school- and district-level growth data released today by the Colorado Department of Education.

While Colorado averaged at near the 50th percentile in development one academic calendar to the next, Summit as a district reached the 59th percentile in English and the 58th in math. Those numbers also rank area kids in the upper tier of the state’s 178 districts.

The results are based on standardized tests from 2016, and it’s the first time year-to-year scores have been available for the state’s new Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) PARCC assessments. Colorado’s public schools made the switch over from the TCAP exams starting in spring 2015.

“We were pretty pleased,” said Bethany Massey, the district’s director of assessment and technology. “We’re either at or above the state, and especially when you start to get into the schools, we saw some areas of really high growth. That was exciting to see.”

“We were pretty pleased. We’re either at or above the state, and especially when you start to get into the schools, we saw some areas of really high growth. That was exciting to see.”Bethany MasseyDirector of assessment and technology, Summit School District

For the English language arts testing, Summit Cove led the local elementaries with a score of 70.5, and Breckenridge and Upper Blue weren’t far behind at 65.5 and 65, respectively. Upper Blue and Breckenridge led the way for the grade schools, at 74 and 72, while Frisco rounded out the top three in the 69th percentile.

At the secondary level, Summit Middle School came in at the 56th percentile in English, while Summit High hit the 58th. Snowy Peaks, the district’s other high school, is not scored at the state level for either course because its population of test takers is fewer than 20.

It’s the degree of advancement in mathematics where the district hopes to make future improvements. The middle school again placed in the 56th percentile there, while the high school came in below the state median, in the 46th percentile.

“That’s our area where we need to work on across the district,” said Massey. “Not that our overall pieces were bad, but when we start digging into some of the subgroups and at the secondary level, we do know that those are areas where we need to take a look at more with how we can improve our math scores in both the achievement and the growth side.”

Individual student growth reports will arrive at districts at some point in October so they can be provided to parents. Those reports break down specifically how a student is progressing in comparison to other students in Colorado who have achieved similarly. From there, specific methods of success are either maintained or replicated for others, or instructional interventions put in place to bring lower-performing students up to a proficient skill level.

“The growth results provide parents a deeper understanding of how their students are doing in school,” Katy Anthes, interim education commissioner, said in a statement. “This information is a key indicator to see how schools are progressing toward preparing all students for college or careers after high school.”

The completion of the school performance frameworks to build tiers for district accreditations also follows the release of these growth scores. Districts are anticipating both sometime later this fall. Last year, the Summit School District received a status, which was based on the 2013-14 school year, it was named to list of just 24 districts “Accredited with Distinction.”

“As far as growth scores,” added Massey, “we’ve always been at or above the state levels, and so that’s really nice to see. We’ve been eagerly awaiting these, and we’re excited to see them.”

For more on the state’s standardized growth results, including an interactive data visualization, visit:

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