Schools receive good marks

Steamboat, South Routt accreditation reports favorable

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The Steamboat Springs and South Routt school districts continue to meet the state's accreditation requirements, according to review reports recently given to each district by the Colorado Department of Education.

The state, which requires each of its 178 public school districts to be accredited to receive state funding, is two years into a new process in which the accreditation contracts signed by each district are reviewed annually by education officials.

All three Routt County school districts underwent the review process last winter, and accreditation review reports were sent to the districts late last year.

The accreditation system is designed to ensure school districts are meeting state requirements, which include setting goals for Colorado Student Assessment Program test scores, closing achievement gaps and complying with the provisions of state School Accountability Reports and the federal No Child Left Behind law.

The South Routt School District, in its accreditation review, was commended for providing professional development in the area of data training, using data to drive instruction, expecting high achievement from its students, increasing its graduation requirements and requiring eighth-grade students who aren't proficient in math to take an additional math concepts class, among other commendations.

The report suggested that the district continue its efforts to improve student achievement in math and to work on closing the achievement gap between male and female students.

The Steamboat Springs School District was commended for its students' consistently high CSAP scores, the marked progress of special education students, its updated mission, vision and belief statements, its efforts to align the district as well as its instructional program and its students' high performance in math relative to other districts in the state.

During the course of the current school year the district should condense its planning documents so that district and school goals are clearly definable, examine long-standing district goals to determine whether they're still appropriate and continue to work on bridging the achievement gaps between male and female students and Hispanic and white students, according to the report.

Hayden School District Superintendent Mike Luppes didn't return a phone call Wednesday seeking comment about his district's accreditation review.

The accreditation review reports are compiled by a group of educators from various school districts and a Department of Education official.

Steamboat Superintendent Donna Howell and South Routt Superintendent Steve Jones said the accreditation review is valuable in that it provides an opportunity for an objective, outside analysis of their districts.

"It's really almost a peer review, which I think has real value," Howell said.

Both districts are accredited until 2007.

-- To reach Brent Boyer call 871-4234

or e-mail bboyer@steamboatpilot.com

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