Soroco, Hayden scores mixed

Some schools earn higher ratings, some earn lower

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— The South Routt and Hayden school districts received mixed results in the state-issued school report cards released Thursday.

South Routt High School and Hayden Valley Elementary School both received high ratings after being rated low in last year's Colorado's School Accountability Reports.

But South Routt Middle School and Hayden Middle School and High School took a dip, going from a rating of high to average.

Hayden Superintendent Scott Mader said he was not surprised by the elementary school receiving a high rating but did not anticipate the lower scores at the middle and high schools.

"Sure we want to be up there (at high), but I am not nervous," Mader said. "I believe we are going to be there again soon."

The report is based on the previous school year's Colorado Student Assessment Program scores of third- to 10th-graders and the ACT scores of juniors. With those scores averaged by school, a rating of excellent, high, average, low or unsatisfactory is given.

Mader said the juniors' ACT scores, which could have pulled the school down to average, surprised the district. The juniors were close to four points below the state average in math, two points below the average in writing and one point below the average in reading.

The drop in the middle school rating was also unexpected for the school district. The school dropped its CSAP scores across the board. The largest drop was in reading, which went from having 79 percent of its students proficient or advanced to 70 percent. But its math scores had the lowest scores with just 38 percent of the students being proficient or advanced in reading.

"We just started out with a very high score and sometimes it is hard to maintain that high of level," Mader said. "We have a good school here. I know the staff is disappointed, but they will come out of it."

The school district was relieved with the elementary school receiving a rating of high. Mader saw the low rating as an abnormality and said he knew the school was a "high" performing school all along.

Soroco High School Principal James Chamberlin was pleased in the leap the high school took. He said the school has been working to boost its CSAP scores.

"There has been a direct focus on improving CSAP scores and the importance to do well," Chamberlin said.

The high school saw the most significant jump in its ninth- and 10th-grade writing scores, which went from 28 percent of the students being proficient or advanced to 61 percent. In reading, the scores jumped from 51 percent of the students being proficient or advanced to 77 percent.

But Chamberlin said one of the biggest efforts has been on improving the math scores. He said math teachers are integrating their curricula to focus on what is tested on the CSAPs and teaching students in earlier grades the material that is on the test.

This year, 28 percent of the ninth- and 10th-graders were proficient in math, compared to 11 percent the year before.

"I feel very proud. We worked hard to improve our math scores," Chamberlin said.

He also said the school has worked harder to familiarize the students and teachers with the test and to make sure more students take it and complete it.

The South Routt Middle School dropped from high to low with the sixth-grade class having the most significant drop in scores.

But Principal Mike Hare said the middle school is also working hard to get the scores up, especially the math scores. The school has also put a literacy team in place for bumping up reading and writing scores.

"We feel like that is the direction to go. We hopefully will see some good results from that," Hare said. "We are committed to student achievement in South Routt School District."

The school report cards also show how each school fared against its 10 nearest counterparts. And it has information on how each of the grades performed on the CSAP, school history, staff and safety and school environments.

The school districts will receive the report cards and mail them to parents. But a complete report card of every school in Colorado can be found on the state's Web site at www.state.co.us/schools.

To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229

or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com

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