The Moffat County School District has signed on the dotted line, and expects the state Board of Education to soon do the same.
The district has drafted an Accreditation Contract that commits it to continuous educational improvement and progress for all grade levels. Progress is determined by the scores students earn on the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) test.
"The contract has been signed by the board, and I expect it will be on the June agenda for the State Board of Education," Superintendent of Schools Duane Wrightson said. "I fully expect it will be approved."
This is the first such contract the district has signed with the State of Colorado, said Janet Bohart, director of curriculum and staff development.
"This is the first time the accreditation has been finalized," Bohart said. "We have agreed to make reasonable progress over a reasonable amount of time in regards to our CSAP scores and the School Accountability Report."
As far as making changes in order to comply with the contract, very few are necessary, Bohart said.
"We discovered as we wrote it that most of the requirements are already part of our curriculum and programs. We're already doing a lot of this work."
The only area the district needs to address is creating a process for accrediting individual schools, she said.
"We have to decide what the process will look like and what the standards will be," Bohart said. "The full intent of this contract is to increase student achievement, as reflected in CSAP scores."
The contract stipulates that the individual school accreditation system review all schools on a three-year cycle, with the preschool and elementary schools being reviewed in the spring of 2002, the intermediate and middle schools in the spring of 2003, and the high school in 2004.
The process would then begin again in 2005.
"We'll come up with a form for these reviews and the schools will have a say in that. The biggest thing is that we show improvement through the CSAP scores," Wrightson said. "And we need to have more than a grade-level improvement from the kids who have fallen behind. It's important that they be brought up to speed. If these kids who are behind only improve by a grade level, they'll never catch up.
"The President and Gov. Owens have really pushed this concept, and there is a major effort being made to have the school systems bring these kids into compliance."