Steamboat Springs Almost all Routt County public schools met federal standards for student progress during the 2004-05 school year, according to results released Monday by the Colorado Department of Education.
Adequate yearly progress, which is part of the federal No Child Left Behind law, are goals that are met depending on the percentage of students who take standardized tests and the levels of proficiency among those students.
To make adequate yearly progress, 95 percent of a school's enrolled students must take state assessment tests, and schools must meet state reading and math targets. Also, 1.1 percent of students must score advanced on reading and math at the elementary and middle school levels, and high schools must meet a graduation-rate target.
Steamboat Springs Middle School did not make adequate yearly progress, or AYP, for the 2004-05 school year because of what school district officials described as an error in calculating the percentage of middle school students who participated in standardized testing.
Ann Sims, the district's director of curriculum and instruction, said she is working with district and state officials to try to figure out where and how the error occurred. Sims said 47 middle school students were counted as being part of the free- and reduced-lunch program, and only 39 of them took Colorado Student Assessment Program tests. However, Principal Tim Bishop said the school didn't have 47 students in the free- and reduced-lunch program.
"It's a data issue, and I don't know where it rests," Bishop said. "I'm very frustrated by it."
Bishop and Sims suspect the school's English Language Learners may have been calculated into the number of students in the free- and reduced-lunch program. The school's eight ELL students were the only ones who didn't take CSAP tests last year, Sims said.
"This really disappoints me because of how well our students have done on the standardized tests," Bishop said. "It frustrates me there was a data problem."
Steamboat Springs Middle School students improved their CSAP test scores across the board last year.
"It's not an accurate reflection of what the kids did," Sims said about the middle school's AYP score.
"(The middle school) did make remarkable progress, and I don't want this to overshadow the great work they did."
The district had 30 days to appeal the AYP results but missed the deadline because of an oversight. Sims said there were two dates on a letter related to the results, and she thought the earlier date, which already had passed when she received the letter, was the deadline.
After district officials determine what went wrong, they will try to work with the state to get the results fixed to reflect the middle school's improvements, Sims said.
There are consequences for schools that receive Title 1 funds and don't make AYP for two consecutive years. Those schools must develop school improvement plans and could have to provide supplemental educational services for low-performing low-income students. Additional corrective action could be required.
Sims said all Steamboat Springs School District schools receive Title 1 funds.
Steamboat Springs Middle School did not make AYP for the 2002-03 school year because three students didn't take CSAP tests. In that case, the students' parents did not want them to take the tests. The school made AYP last year.
All three Hayden School District schools made AYP for the 2004-05 school year. But because of a coding error that affected the CSAP scores of 46 fourth- and fifth-graders, the state initially told the district that Hayden Valley Elementary School did not make AYP.
The district appealed and gave state officials the unofficial CSAP results for each grade, which showed scores above state averages. The appeal was accepted, and the elementary school made AYP.
All three South Routt School District schools also made AYP, as did the North Routt Community Charter School and the Routt County Alternative School.
"The staff and administration have put forth a great deal of time and effort into ensuring South Routt School District reaches the benchmarks prescribed for annual yearly progress," South Routt Superintendent Kelly Reed wrote in an e-mail. "I applaud their efforts, and while we are gratified with our progress thus far, we are not content and will continue to refine our goals in providing our students with the finest educational opportunities available."
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