Across the board, Montezuma-Cortez School District Re-1 principals agree that more work is needed to improve students’ academic performance.
Last year’s Colorado Transitional Colorado Assessment Program scores were made public Thursday. Scores indicate that more of the district’s ninth-graders tested proficient and advanced in reading during 2013-14 than in the previous year. Fewer freshmen also tested unsatisfactory in reading during the same time.
Sophomore scores went the other direction: Fewer 10th-graders tested proficient and advanced in reading, and more tested unsatisfactory.
Montezuma-Cortez High School Principal Jason Wayman said the TCAP scores revealed the school continues to be among the state’s struggling high schools. He said the school’s goal is to have 80 percent of all students proficient or advanced in reading. Last year, fewer than 30 percent of students showed “college-ready” reading levels, he said.
“The data indicate that our students’ level of growth in reading is simply not adequate for us to make the progress we need to be proficient,” he said.
This year, Wayman said an adjusted schedule would add the equivalent of 21 days of regular school, providing teachers more time to work with students.
Scores indicated that fewer third-, fifth- and sixth-graders tested proficient and advanced in mathematics last year compared with the previous year. More students in grades three through six also tested unsatisfactory in math.
Manaugh Elementary Principal Donetta Dehart said the TCAP scores indicate that students as a group grew significantly last year, but many of them continue to struggle.
Middle school improves
Reading scores for eighth- and ninth-graders improved last year: More tested proficient and advanced in writing, and fewer tested unsatisfactorily.
Cortez Middle School Principal Jamie Haukeness said the school’s TCAP scores revealed strong student academic growth in seven of nine assessed content areas. He said the greatest gains were in reading and writing, with a schoolwide increase in reading and writing of 4 and 7 percent, respectively.
This year, Haukeness said the school’s strategy for growth would center on daily staff academic-enrichment periods to focus on student-intervention strategies.
“We will inform students of their academic standings, and go over the TCAP results with each of them at the beginning of the school year and set academic goals,” said Haukeness. “Teachers will use data to drive instruction and review the results each week. Parents will be informed of progress and be asked to play an active role in discussing their student’s progress.”