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9/7/2017 School enrollment shows uptick; state test assessments fairly good
With the current enrollment, a fluctuating number for another week or so, now topping 400 for the first time in several years, Custer County Schools has also received fairly good news from Colorado’s Department of Education (DOE). The 2017 preliminary school performance ratings have been released, and the district’s accreditation is secured as “Accredited with Performance Plan.” Actually, the numeric rating of 68.9 percent is only 5.1 points away from “Accreditation with Distinction.” Significant high marks have been achieved in the assessments of the district’s overall academic achievement and academic growth, the latter in the “distinction” range. Other categories weighed in the DOE’s measurements include postsecondary and workforce readiness, finance, safety, accountability participation and test participation in English language arts, math, and science. Almost every category of assessment is rated as exceeding, meeting, or meeting 95 percent of the state standards. The exceptions are postsecondary and workforce readiness, and high school academic achievement, where the notation is that these areas are approaching the standard adequately. DOE also recently released the CMAS scores, or ranking of the schools in relation to Colorado Measures of Academic Success. Within the 16 testing areas, the schools are above the state averages in nine and below by a few points in six. The highest summary ratings were in high school science, where the district topped out at 16.8 percentage points above the state average. The lowest summary rating was in Grade 5 science, where Custer County students came in 7.1 points off the state average. “If I am not mistaken,” says superintendent Mark Payler, “this may be our best performance yet, and we are trending in the right direction.” – W.A. Ewing