8/7/2013 9:15:00 AM School report cards show off
students' achievements, challenges
The Arizona Department of Education scores districts and schools on A-D grade system based on student achievement on the AIMS and student academic growth. Below are results of local schools' report cards for the 2011-2012 and the 2012-2013 school years. A: 140-200; B: 120-139; C: 100-119; D: 0-99
Humboldt Unified School District earned a "B" grade overall from the Arizona Department of Education, which is a two-point gain over last year, and only five points away from an "A."
Three HUSD schools earned an "A" grade this year: Humboldt Elementary for the third year in a row, Mountain View Elementary for the second consecutive year, and Granville regaining an "A" with an amazing 19-point gain over this past year's score.
HUSD Superintendent Paul Stanton said double-digit increases are "incredible."
"Granville is the highest rated elementary school in Yavapai County. We are very proud." Stanton said.
GES Principal Bucky Bates said the entire staff is dedicated to a specific and purposeful intervention process. They study the assessment data frequently to determine the best intervention for each child.
"Granville's results also speak to a positive school culture of achievement which translates into students feeling proud about doing their best," Bates said.
Liberty Traditional, a K-8 school, raised its score by seven points and is three points from earning an "A" with 137 points.
The two other two middle schools both earned a "C" again this year with 117 points, three points off a "B." Glassford Hill Middle School increased its score by 11 points. (See sidebar with more information on the middle schools.)
The State measures each school's performance on two scores - students' AIMS scores count 50 percent, and students' growth counts for 50 percent, with the lowest performing student scores counting twice.
This is the third year the ADE has implemented this system. In previous years, schools received extra points for the number of students who exceeded the passing standard on the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards, the AIMS. Currently, the State focuses on the progress and improvement of lower-achieving students, and making sure all students achieve at least one year's academic growth.
Bradshaw Mountain High School earned a "B" grade for the third year in a row, and gained five points this past year with 136 points, needing four more points to achieve an "A" grade.
High schools receive an additional three points in each of three categories: reclassification of English Language Learners, graduation rate, and dropout rate. Humboldt District has one of the best ELL programs in the state and therefore not enough students in ELL classes to receive the bonus points. They did receive the other six points.
Danny Brown, HUSD director of Federal Programs and School Improvement, said the Response to Intervention program the district implemented this past year has made a big difference. Teachers look at each student's assessment scores and provide instruction to meet the needs of each student.
In the past, teachers pulled students out in small groups to review skills the students lacked. Now the teachers look at individual students and provide instruction based on each student's needs.
In addition, Brown said the district continues to engage parents in the learning process.
"We are giving parents tools to help their child with reading and math," he said.
The state Move On When Reading program calls for retention of third-grade students who cannot pass the AIMS by the end of the 2013-2014 school year - with two exceptions: English Language Learners and those students with disabilities.
"We have expanded our reading coaches to all elementary schools," Brown said. "We identify those students in need right off the bat."
Students will take the DIBELS assessment (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) this week and the Galileo assessment next week. Those results provide teachers with information on each student's knowledge and skill level.
Brown said his previous job with Prescott College as program development director for professional preparation programs allowed him to visit many schools.
"I find Humboldt to be the most forward thinking, visionary and progressive district in the area," he said.