Responding to AYP deficiencies

Moffat County School District sending letter to parents

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This week, Moffat County parents may have more homework than their students do.

School district officials are sending home an eight-page letter explaining why the district did not meet Adequate Yearly Progress standards and what's being done about it.

"This is very misleading," Superintendent of Schools Pete Bergmann said. "One in five schools in Colorado are not making AYP."

Part of the packet includes a letter from the Colorado Department of Education. Other information is provided by the district itself.

Elementary school students took the letter home Friday. It was mailed to parents of students in other grades.

Adequate Yearly Progress is calculated using Colorado Student Assessment Program scores. For a school district to meet AYP, all schools within the district must meet established standards, and for a school to meet the standards, every sub-group within that school must meet those established performance targets.

Moffat County Schools have 73 sub-groups. Of those, 71 sub-groups met the standards. The two sub-groups that did not were students with disabilities at Craig Middle and Craig Intermediate schools.

Ironically, CIS has the highest math scores in the district and has shown the greatest academic growth, Bergmann said.

Students with disabilities are held to the same standards that other students are. They take the same CSAP test, and it is scored and weighted the same way.

"There is an expectation for disabled students to perform at the same targets and levels," Bergmann said. "While that is commendable, it's not always attainable."

Moffat County School District is classified as a program improvement school for not attaining AYP in the same area two years in a row, which means the district must have an improvement program in place.

"We think we have a very solid plan in place to improve the deficiencies," Bergmann said.

Technically, only CIS has to devise an improvement program because federal dollars help pay for staffing at that school. Craig Middle School uses no federal Title I dollars, so an improvement plan is not required.

That doesn't mean a plan isn't in place.

There are districtwide measures in place to look at the special education curriculum to ensure the best opportunities are available.

There are several other measures being implemented both districtwide and specific to CIS.

Only one other district in the state had the same number of sub-groups that met AYP.

The positive is that additional funding is available to schools that don't meet AYP to help implement their improvement programs.

"We're looking at this as the glass is half-full instead of half empty," Bergmann said.

Parents are invited to a meeting at 6 p.m. Feb. 1 in the boardroom of the School Administration Building to discuss the results and the improvement plan.

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