Steamboat Springs South Routt and Hayden school district students scored at or above state averages on Colorado Student Assessment Program tests in most subject areas and at most grade levels, though both districts struggled with math at the middle school and high school levels.
The Colorado Department of Education released the test results Monday, more than four months after public school students across the state took the mandatory assessments. The state administers CSAP tests annually in order to monitor the achievement of students and schools.
A school's test results factor heavily into how it's rated on state-issued School Accountabil-ity Reports. But more importantly, districts say they can use CSAP data to analyze the effectiveness of their programs and instruction.
The Hayden School District saw improvements in numerous subject areas, particularly at the high school and elementary school. When comparing this year's test results to the results of the same students from the previous year, the district experienced significant improvement at the secondary level in eighth-grade reading and math, ninth-grade reading, writing and math and 10th-grade reading and math. Test scores at the elementary school increased at the fifth-grade level in reading and writing.
The South Routt School District had mixed results, seeing improvements in fourth-grade writing, eighth-grade reading, writing and math, and ninth-grade writing and math. However, the district's math scores were below state average in the seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th grades.
None of the district's tenth-graders scored advanced or proficient in math, a statistic Superintendent Steve Jones identified as the most disturbing.
"We didn't do very well in math, and I'm pretty disappointed with that," Jones said. "We didn't have one kid (in 10th grade) who was proficient. That's real disappointing."
The district will use the test scores to re-evaluate its math program. Several measures have already been implemented, like the addition of a math teacher at the secondary level to work with small groups of students, Jones said. The district also recently increased the math requirements for graduating students.
Soroco High School Principal James Chamberlin said math "is an area of concern."
He emphasized that CSAP results are useful, particularly in helping districts identify trends and analyze the effectiveness of programs. Chamberlin also said it's important to keep in mind the CSAP tests measure student achievement only on the day of the test. "It's one point of reference," he said. "There were some successes and there are obviously some areas we have to focus on."
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