Dolores High School has received two state awards in honor of students’ demonstrated academic growth in 2018.
The Colorado Governor’s Distinguished Improvement Award and the High School Academic Growth Award were officially distributed at an awards ceremony in Denver on Wednesday morning.
“Shining a light on the good work we’re seeing is the first step to learning more about what is going on in these schools so that others can learn from their work, and some day we can fully erase the equity gaps that have existed for far too long,” Katy Anthes, the state’s education commissioner, said in a statement.
The recognitions were two of several awarded to high-performing schools and districts. Other awards included Centers of Excellence, John Irwin School of Excellence, Blue Ribbon School, Green Ribbon School, Title I Distinguished School Award and Districts Accredited with Distinction.
The Governor’s Distinguished Improvement Award was given to schools that demonstrated exceptional student growth. The High School Academic Growth Award went to those showing the “highest levels of students’ academic growth in CMAS ELA and math, as well as for SAT evidence-based reading and writing and SAT math, within each classification used by the statewide association for high school activities for the sport of football.”
The former was awarded to 105 schools within 39 districts, while only eight schools within six districts were named recipients for the latter.
Dolores High School’s eligibility for the awards were determined using the school’s one-year school performance framework report. Based on student performance in the three categories of academic achievement/growth, and postsecondary and workforce readiness – schools were placed into plan types, with “performance” as the highest level, followed by “improvement,” then “priority improvement” and finally, “turnaround.”
With a 76.9 percent overall rating, Dolores High School easily met the 53 percent threshold required in order to qualify for the highest “performance plan.”
The school’s 76.9 percentage was especially buoyed by students’ academic growth, based on the median growth percentile. Using PSAT and SAT scores, the overall median growth percentile for all students was 67.5 percent for reading and writing and 78 percent for math, earning the school a near-perfect score of 98.6 percent in academic growth, and labeled as “exceeds” standards in this category. The “near-perfect” rating was given because the growth percentile for students eligible for free/reduced-price lunch was slightly lower, at 63 percent.
The other two metrics were lower, with the school determined to “meet” standards in terms of postsecondary and workforce readiness, and “approaching” standards for academic achievement.
Postsecondary and workforce readiness was evaluated based on SAT scores and dropout, matriculation and graduation rates. According to the framework, the mean score for the 35 students who took the 2018 SAT was 489.1 for reading and writing, and 470.9 for math.
The dropout rate was 1.5 percent, based on the 2017 Colorado End of Year data submission. The matriculation rate – defined as the number of 2017 high school graduates who enroll in a career and technical education program or a two-year or four-year higher education institution during the following academic year – was 63 percent.
Graduation rates were calculated based on the school’s five-year graduation data, which was 98.1 percent overall.
And academic achievement was assessed based on PSAT scores in math, reading and writing, and CMAS scores for science.
Dolores scored in the 37th percentile overall for reading and writing, with a mean scale score of 451.6. Math was lower, with the overall mean scale score of 428.6, putting the high school in the 29th percentile. Science numbers were up, with the mean scale of 603.2 placing students in the 45th percentile.
The awards were presented to schools and districts at a ceremony in the lobby of the Colorado Department of Education in Denver.