Steamboat Springs South Routt Elementary School third-grade reading scores have improved dramatically since last year.
South Routt’s Colorado State Assessment Program third-grade reading test score jumped 30 percentage points, with 83 percent scoring proficient or advanced this year. In 2010, 53 percent scored proficient or advanced.
South Routt Superintendent Scott Mader said that he was pleasantly surprised with the third-graders’ reading scores, but that they weren’t totally unexpected.
“We’ve been working hard on it,” he said. “We’ve had a reading series in place for several years now. We’re hoping we’re experiencing some of the fruits of those labors.”
The unofficial results of the 2011 CSAP test for third-grade reading were released Tuesday. CSAPs test third- through 10th-grade students annually in reading, writing and math, and in science during fifth, eighth and 10th grades. Students can score unsatisfactory, partially proficient, proficient or advanced.
South Routt Elementary School Principal Raylene Olinger said the school is in year three of a new reading program that includes focused instruction with consistent curriculum and materials. She said there’s also more emphasis on vocabulary and writing.
Olinger said the school’s teachers also worked hard to impart the importance of the CSAP tests on students, while not putting too much pressure on them to produce high scores.
“I was, of course, very pleased,” she said. “It’s good news, but it makes it better because you know how hard (the students) worked. They worked hard all year, but they really worked hard on the CSAP assessments. It’s good to see their efforts paid off in the area of reading.
“It’s good for the teachers because they’ve worked hard with the students,” Olinger added. “They really are invested in them. It’s a good payoff at the end to see the scores.”
All Routt County public elementary school third-graders exceeded the state average of 73 percent who scored proficient or advanced. Only Hayden Valley Elementary School saw a slight decline from last year.
Hayden had the largest increase last year, when 83 percent scored proficient or advanced, up from 63 percent in 2009. This year, 78 percent of students scored proficient or advanced.
Both Steamboat elementary schools’ third-grade reading scores increased after decreasing last year.
At Strawberry Park Elementary School, 90 percent of third-graders scored proficient or advanced this year, up from 86 percent last year. And 77 percent of Soda Creek Elementary School third-graders scored at the same levels, an increase from 73 percent.
The Colorado Department of Education said in a statement that it released the third-grade reading results early to comply with the state’s Basic Literacy Act. The official results and scores for the other grades and assessments are scheduled to be released in August.
— To reach Jack Weinstein, call 970-871-4203 or email jweinstein@SteamboatToday.com