Moffat County schools ranked ‘Average’ on state assessments | SteamboatToday.com

Moffat County schools ranked ‘Average’ on state assessments

Bridget Manley

Wendy Seely's fourth-grade class works on Colorado history assignments Thursday afternoon at Sunset Elementary School. This week, the Colorado Department of Education released its school accountability report, which revealed that Moffat County students are scoring average on state assessments.

Wendy Seely’s fourth-grade class works on Colorado history assignments Thursday afternoon at Sunset Elementary School. This week, the Colorado Department of Education released its school accountability report, which revealed that Moffat County students are scoring average on state assessments.
Hans Hallgren

School Accountability Report results

Sunset Elementary School

• Overall Academic Performance on State Assessments: Average

• Academic growth of students: Stable

Ridgeview Elementary School

• Overall Academic Performance on State Assessments: Average

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• Academic growth of students: Significant decline

East Elementary School

• Overall Academic Performance on State Assessments: Average

• Academic growth of students: Stable

Maybell Elementary School

• Overall Academic Performance on State Assessments: Unreportable*

• Academic growth of students: Unreportable*

Craig Intermediate School

• Overall Academic Performance on State Assessments: Average

• Academic growth of students: Stable

Craig Middle School

• Overall Academic Performance on State Assessments: Average

• Academic growth of students: Stable

Moffat County High School

• Overall Academic Performance on State Assessments: Average

• Academic growth of students: Decline

*Not enough student enrollment to compile report

Source: Colorado Department of Education

The report tells the story.

Although most schools in Moffat County are achieving projected academic growth, students are lodged in the middle of the bell curve on state assessments, according to the School Accountability Report released by the Colorado Department of Education.

The Department of Education released a report for every school across the state Wednesday.

A report card of sorts for the school district, the SAR uses Colorado State Assessment Program scores to evaluate how well the district is educating its students and meeting yearly progress goals, said Pete Bergmann, Moffat County School District superintendent.

This year, all schools across the district garnered the same rating on state assessments: Average.

For Bergmann, average isn’t enough.

“We’re not satisfied with being average,” he said. “We’ll continue to persist : to improve.”

Yet attaining a higher rating can be difficult.

The state grades each school’s combined CSAP scores on a bell curve, in which 40 percent of all the state’s schools will be ranked average, Bergmann said.

For Moffat County, this grading system means schools may improve on CSAP scores yet not move out of the average category, depending where they stand among that 40 percent, Bergmann added.

While the district uses CSAP scores to assess its performance, it does not consider the tests the only indicator of academic progress.

“We think CSAP scores are a valid, challenging test : but we can’t be totally focused on”them. Bergmann said.

Although the district as a whole scored an average rating, four of six schools whose scores could be gathered in the district maintained projected academic growth.

To evaluate academic growth, the state compares students’ CSAP scores from the current and previous year. The state then subtracts the percentage of students whose scored better to those who scored worse.

The resulting percentage determines if a school’s academic progress is decreasing or on the rise.

Moffat County High School showed a decrease in academic growth.

Ridgeview Elementary showed a significant decline in their students’ academic growth.

The school’s SAR showed its third-grade class garnered higher scores than that of its fourth grade in reading, writing and math.

Several factors can influence students’ performance on state tests, including home life and health issues, Ridgeview principal Julie Baker said.

Baker couldn’t attribute the scores to one particular source, she added.

“Once in a while, we get a class that struggles,” she said. “It weighs heavy on us : when the staff tries everything under the sun to help (students) and it doesn’t work.”

School Accountability Report results

Sunset Elementary School

• Overall Academic Performance on State Assessments: Average

• Academic growth of students: Stable

Ridgeview Elementary School

• Overall Academic Performance on State Assessments: Average

• Academic growth of students: Significant decline

East Elementary School

• Overall Academic Performance on State Assessments: Average

• Academic growth of students: Stable

Maybell Elementary School

• Overall Academic Performance on State Assessments: Unreportable*

• Academic growth of students: Unreportable*

Craig Intermediate School

• Overall Academic Performance on State Assessments: Average

• Academic growth of students: Stable

Craig Middle School

• Overall Academic Performance on State Assessments: Average

• Academic growth of students: Stable

Moffat County High School

• Overall Academic Performance on State Assessments: Average

• Academic growth of students: Decline

*Not enough student enrollment to compile report

Source: Colorado Department of Education