Chatfield, Fruitvale on corrective plans

The second year of a new state rating system for Colorado public schools delivered good news for R-5 High and Rim Rock Elementary and bad news for Chatfield and Fruitvale elementary schools.

The new system, called Performance Frameworks, tells schools to write a plan to foster or build on success in each school. A school is assigned a performance, improvement, priority improvement or turnaround plan based on Colorado Student Assessment Program scores and growth, plus ACT scores, dropout-rate and graduation-rate data for high schools.

R-5 High School was placed on a turnaround plan last year but was assigned an improvement plan this year. The high school was evaluated using criteria for a traditional school last year, but District 51 asked the state to evaluate it as an alternative institution this year, a request the state granted.

No District 51 schools were asked to create a turnaround plan this year, the most severe plan type.

The next step up from turnaround is a priority-improvement plan. Like a turnaround plan, a priority-improvement plan involves increased state oversight and may lead to closure or reorganization of a school after five years on a priority-improvement plan.

Chatfield Elementary was assigned a priority-improvement plan this year and last year. Fruitvale Elementary, which was straddling the line between improvement and priority improvement, moved down a category this year.

Both schools applied for a new state grant that would pay for extra coaching at the elementary schools, and each school received more coaching from in-district coaches, according to District 51 Executive Director of Elementary Schools Andy Laase. Grant recipients will be announced in January.

Rim Rock Elementary created a priority-improvement plan last year and was asked to create a performance plan this year. Performance plans are for schools that meet 59 percent to 100 percent of goals outlined by the state and do not require much change in a school. The school’s main problem last year was test-score growth, according to District 51 Assistant Director of Elementary Schools Lesley Rose.

“They got more in tune with their data and their needs” this year, Rose said. “Rim Rock’s staff was really in-tune to what was necessary.”

Rim Rock is one of 32 District 51 schools assigned a performance plan. Ten schools were assigned an improvement plan, the same number as last year.

Five schools were asked to create improvement plans this year and last year: Chipeta Elementary, Dos Rios Elementary, Mesa View Elementary, Mount Garfield Middle School and Rocky Mountain Elementary.

Central High School, Lincoln Orchard Mesa Elementary, Pear Park Elementary and Taylor Elementary moved off the improvement list to performance plans this year.

Five schools that were on performance plans last year were assigned improvement plans this year. Those schools are: Dual Immersion Academy, Independence Academy, Orchard Avenue Elementary, Shelledy Elementary and Tope Elementary.

Two nondistrict charter schools that operate in the Grand Valley were assigned plans. Caprock Academy will make a performance plan, and GOAL Academy will have an alternative-school improvement plan.

All school plans are due to the state by April 15, with a Jan. 17 deadline for priority-improvement and turnaround plans. District 51 Executive Director of High Schools Bill Larsen said District 51 plans to submit its district-improvement plan and all school plans electronically to the state by Jan. 17.


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