Third-grader reading scores better than previous class

Reading program changes implemented in 2007 may be working on School District 51 third-graders.

Scores from Colorado Student Assessment Program reading tests taken by third-graders in February have been released and show 71 percent of local third-graders are reading at or above grade level. That’s a 6 percent improvement over third-graders who took the test in February 2008.

Full CSAP results for third- through 10th- grade reading, writing, science and math will be announced in late July.

District 51 implemented a new reading program with new materials and teaching methods in the fall of 2007. Assistant Superintendent Steve Schultz said the third-grade reading scores are just a piece of the results, but they are encouraging and likely related to the program’s success.

“I do think that’s a good first sign,” he said of the third-grade results.

Fewer students scored unsatisfactorily or partially proficient on the test. Twenty of the 24 local elementary schools had fewer students rank in the unsatisfactory category. Of the three that saw increases, Rocky Mountain Elementary recorded the largest increase, going from 21 to 27 percent.

Chipeta Elementary opened in fall 2008 and therefore did not have CSAP information to report last year.

Fourteen schools had fewer or the same percentage of students score partially proficient in 2009.

The third-grade class of 2009 outdid its predecessors in proficiency percentages at 14 schools and improved or maintained the percentage of advanced scores at all but one school. That school, Mesa View Elementary, went from 3 percent to 2 percent advanced.

The top three performers of 2009 on the third-grade reading test were New Emerson, Orchard Avenue and Pear Park elementary schools, which had 91, 91 and 90 percent of students, respectively, reading at or above grade level.

Rocky Mountain, Chipeta and Chatfield elementary schools had the fewest third-grade students reading at grade level, with 32, 37 and 48 students, respectively, scoring proficient of above.

District 51 third-grade readers tied the state average for unsatisfactory scores, which was 9 percent. District 51 had 21 percent of students in the partially proficient category,

65 percent proficient, and 6 percent advanced. The state average was 18 percent partially proficient, 66 percent proficient and 7 percent advanced.

The district improved in all categories from 2008 third-grade reading scores. In 2008, 13 percent of third-graders scored unsatisfactory on the CSAP reading test, while 22 percent scored partially proficient, 62 percent were proficient and 3 percent were advanced.

This is the first year since 2003 results that the district has recorded a smaller percentage of partially proficient scores and the first year since 2004 that local third-graders have had a smaller percentage of unsatisfactory scores than the preceding third-grade class.


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