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Jeffco Marks New High on CMAS Growth Data

Jeffco Marks New High on CMAS Growth Data
Posted on 08/17/2017

Jeffco Public Schools has a history of exceeding the state average on standardized performance tests, and this holds true for the 2016-17 CMAS (Colorado Measures of Academic Success) performance results. However, the Jeffco Public Schools CMAS growth data is particularly striking this year. Jeffco’s overall district CMAS English Language Arts (ELA) and Math median growth went up for all grades (with the exception of Grade 8 Math, which held steady).

"Because the size of our district sometimes makes it hard to see big gains, we’re particularly excited and proud of these results," explains Matt Flores, Chief Academic Officer. "We know tests are only one way to measure our schools – we have many ways to evaluate learning – but these results are inspiring. The trend data shows that many of our schools and our students are making great strides toward academic success. Schools use CMAS data to evaluate their efforts, and this year the fruits of those labors are especially evident."

For example, last year Vivian Elementary School in the Lakewood/Wheat Ridge area received a grant from the Colorado Department of Education for priority improvement and turnaround schools. The professional learning and data-driven instruction the funding supported made a big impact. ELA percentile growth was 42 in 2015-16, and went up to 64.5 in 2016-17; Math percentile growth was 37 and increased to 68.5.

"When our staff looked at our school’s 2016-17 growth data we were thrilled to see the results of our hard work," said Principal Sherry Carter. "We knew it would take grit and collaboration to accomplish the growth our students needed and deserved. The Vivian community fully embraced the new learning methods, and we developed our new mission and vision, which remain the focus of all we do and who we are."

Vivian Elementary school’s new mission is Learn ~ Grow ~ Succeed. The mindset is student-centered, data-driven, and collaborative: student growth was at the center of all decisions made throughout the year; students and staff worked persistently to ensure that instruction was rigorous and meeting students’ needs through timely data analysis. Students set individual growth goals, and progress was monitored in reading, writing, and math.

Other Jeffco Public Schools district-level highlights for the 2016-17 CMAS ELA/Math results include (all grade levels combined):

  • ELA median growth reached the 52nd percentile, increasing 3 percentile points over the prior year.
  • Math median growth increased to the 53rd percentile.
  • The majority of the district’s median growth percentiles in both ELA and Math surpassed the state’s median performance.
  • The percentile of Math growth for students on Individualized Education Plans increased from 42 to 48.5.
  • Male students increased 4 percentile points in ELA.

"Of course, there is always room for improvement. We need to examine our 7th and 8th grade growth results, and a few of our schools need some additional support. Students on free and reduced lunch showed progress, but we’d really like to see more, and we continue to tackle the growth gap between Hispanic and White students," added Flores. "Yet overall, we are extremely pleased."

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