Re-1 touts success in annual report | AspenTimes.com

Re-1 touts success in annual report

Bobby MagillGlenwood Springs correspondent

Roaring Fork School District Re-1 officials say the district’s annual report tells “a story of success.” Released this week, the annual report summarizes the progress students made during the 2004-05 school year, including previously published No Child Left Behind statistics, CSAP scores, graduation rates and other data. “I just think it shows that, kindergarten through high school, we’re getting our kids opportunities for success,” school board member Brad Zeigel said. “It says a lot for our communities.”School board members, particularly Bob Johnson, heavily touted the district’s graduation rate at Wednesday’s board meeting, saying it’s one of the many statistics outlined in the annual report that parents can be proud of. The overall graduation rates among the district’s high schools ranged from Bridges High School’s 71 percent to Basalt High’s 83 percent in 2005, well above the state average of 57 percent. Both Roaring Fork and Glenwood Springs high schools had a 78 percent graduation rate. Latino graduation rates throughout the district were below state averages – 52 percent for both Basalt and Roaring Fork high schools and 55 percent at Glenwood High. School Board President Michael Bair said there are three things to consider when looking at graduation rate statistics: education, culture and economic conditions. Those are important when considering Latino graduation rates because cultural and economic conditions often dictate that Latino students have a job and tend to family obligations before graduation, Bair said. “Often the challenge is to get students to take more challenging course work,” said Superintendent Fred Wall. “Graduation and future success depends on students focusing on higher level English and math courses. Counselors and teachers helping students set plans as early as the end of eighth grade helps ensure students can graduate with the course work they need to be successful.”Latino academic achievement continues to be a challenge for Re-1, as illustrated in the district’s Adequate Yearly Progress statistics released in September. Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, states must determine whether each school met specific criteria for academic achievement.Many of the Re-1 schools that failed to achieve AYP did so because they were not able to sufficiently improve Latino students’ standardized test scores. But the achievement gap between Latino and Anglo students is closing, Wall said, adding that Anglo student scores are well above state averages. “This is a tribute to the work our staff has done on focusing on the individual needs of students,” Wall said. “It is a challenge for a teacher to meet the needs of all the students in a class.”Despite lagging Latino CSAP scores, the report shows that Latino students in third through eighth grades are growing academically faster than Anglo students in reading and language, but are generally showing slower growth than Anglo students in math.