Soroco leads way in CSAP

100 percent of third-graders score proficient or better in reading test

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— It's difficult to improve upon 100 percent, but that's exactly the challenge South Routt Elementary School Principal Troy Zabel and his staff will face next year.

All 18 of the school's third-graders scored advanced or proficient on the 2004 Colorado Student Assessment Program reading test, according to statewide results released Monday by the Department of Education.

South Routt's perfect score highlighted another year of above-average reading scores for third-graders in all three Routt County school districts.

In Steamboat Springs, 92 percent of the district's third-graders are advanced or proficient readers, including 95 percent of the third-graders at Strawberry Park Elementary School. Eighty-nine percent of Soda Creek Elementary School tested advanced or proficient.

For the second consecutive year, 22 Hayden third-graders took the CSAP reading test, and for the second consecutive year, 91 percent of them are advanced or proficient readers.

Statewide, elementar schools had an average of 74 percent advanced or proficient readers, unchanged from last year's test results.

Zabel, whose school had 93 percent of its third-graders reading at the advanced or proficient level last year, gave his entire staff credit for this year's high scores.

"I think it shows what we're doing is working," he said. "We're very excited and very proud."

Under Zabel, the school has implemented a "reading flooding" program that provides individualized reading help almost daily. The school also has introduced programs such as the Literacy Carnival and the Reading Challenge to increase student and family interest in reading and to provide more reading opportunities for South Routt students.

South Routt Elementary is the only Routt County school to have no students at the unsatisfactory or partially proficient level. Twenty-two percent of the school's third-graders, or four students, are advanced readers and 78 percent, or 14 students, are proficient readers.

Strawberry Park and Soda Creek also saw CSAP reading scores increase from 2003. Each school saw a 4-percent increase in the number of students who scored advanced or proficient. Although the number of students who are advanced decreased slightly at each, proficient readers increased by 5 percent at Soda Creek and 7 percent at Strawberry Park.

"I'm very proud of our students achievements," Soda Creek Principal Judy Harris said. "Our teachers and staff work hard to be innovative in meeting every student's needs. Through their efforts and the support of parents, our students continue to meet their learning goals."

Soda Creek teachers are analyzing individual student scores to determine how to meet the needs of each and how to adjust the school's overall instruction, Harris said. One of the advantages of the CSAP test is being able to break down data and tailor the results to individual students, she said.

Still, the series of CSAP tests are just "one piece in a body of evidence," Harris said.

Eighty-six percent of Hayden's third-graders tested proficient, while 5 percent, or one of the 22 students, were judged by the CSAP to be advanced. No students read at an unsatisfactory level, and 9 percent , or two students, are partially-proficient readers, according to the results.

Third-grade reading CSAP results are released earlier than results from other CSAP tests. Results from other grade levels and subjects are expected in August.

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