Dave Ulrich: Positive academic achievement | CraigDailyPress.com

Dave Ulrich: Positive academic achievement

Dave Ulrich/For Craig Press

David Ulrich

We have good news to start the school year and yet another reason to choose Moffat County School District! Our district earned the rating of Performance (Accredited) from the Colorado Department of Education for the 2017-18 school year! This is the second year in a row our students and staff have earned this rating.

The district's rating is a combination of many elements, including the Colorado Measures of Academic Success, or CMAS, Assessments; Post-Secondary Workforce Readiness; PSAT; and SAT. In English Language Arts/Literacy and Math assessments, the district performed better than last year. While math saw a slight increase, the district English Language Arts/Literacy scores increased by 7 percent in the top two levels of performance.

Each element is measured in two ways. First is Status Scores. Status is the percentage of students who score in the five levels defined by Colorado Department of Education (Did Not Yet Meet Expectations, Partially Met Expectations, Approached Expectations, Met Expectations, or Exceeded Expectations). The second way each element is measured is Growth Scores. Growth Scores are the measure of students' expected growth compared to their Colorado peers. I refer to this as the "value added" of our teachers.

For Status Scores, districtwide, fourth-grade students exceeded the state’s average percentage of students achieving in the top two levels in English Language Arts/Literacy. This is the first districtwide, whole grade level to top the state average on status scores since we began taking CMAS Assessments!

The 2017-18 Growth Measures showed gains, as well. Combined, as a district, students exceeded the state average growth in English Language Arts/Literacy. This is the first year for a whole subject, districtwide, that MCSD exceeded the state average growth! Gifted and Talented students exceeded average state growth by 19 percent!

While it is clear we still have much work to do, I want to say congratulations and thank you to the staff, students, parents, and community members who contributed to this result. We will continue working to ensure our teachers have the resources and professional development necessary to keep student achievement moving in a positive direction and give everyone a reason to continue to say, "I Choose Moffat County Schools."

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Smooth start of school

Given the changes that marked the start of this school year, I want to highlight that we have had another smooth start. Throughout the 2017-18 school year, we went through a process of closing East Elementary School and creating a new Early Childhood Center on the East campus. The MCSD staff worked throughout the summer to ensure our spaces were ready for our teachers and students.

Members of the MCSD maintenance staff, as well as central office administration, were present at Craig Middle School and Sandrock Elementary School to monitor the new drop-off procedures. After a couple of days, it appears parents and staff have settled into a routine that is an improvement over previous years.

The maintenance staff and administration also helped with the drop-off procedures at the Early Childhood Center. After a couple of days there, I can report that parents have settled into a routine that is quick and safe for our youngest students. The new, flexible drop-off time is proving to be a popular addition to the Early Childhood Center day.

Our, students, parents, staff, and community deserve positive achievement news and a smooth start of school. I am proud of everyone's efforts to ensure we are living the district's mission statement: to educate and inspire students to thrive in an environment of change.

Dave Ulrich is superintendent of the Moffat County School District.