Elementary and middle school students in Montezuma-Cortez schools showed improvement in English and math test scores, according to results released last week by the Colorado Department of Education.
Manaugh Elementary, which has been in turnaround status, demonstrated the most significant growth in the district.
Students in grades 3-8 took the Colorado Measures of Academic Success tests this spring.
“We really appreciate that our students participated and did their best on the tests,” said Re-1 Superintendent Lori Haukeness. “We are excited to see the continued improvements in achievement in math and reading in our elementary and middle schools.”
Districtwide results of the CMAS test show that 26 percent of elementary students met or exceeded expectations in language arts, up 2 percentage points from 2017.
In math, 18 percent of elementary students met or exceeded expectations in math, up 9 points from 2017.
At Cortez Middle School, 28.1 percent of students met or exceeded standards in language arts, up from 19.2 percent in 2017.
Cortez Middle School students also improved their English and math scores. About 28 percent of English students met or exceeded expectations, up from 19.2 percent last year, and about 13 percent of math students met or exceeded expectations, compared with 10.9 percent in 2017.
Despite the improvement, the district still lags state averages in grades 3-8. Statewide, 44.5 percent of English students and 34.1 percent of math students met or exceeded expectations, compared with 26.9 percent and 15.7 percent, respectively, in Montezuma-Cortez School District RE-1.
Montezuma-Cortez High SchoolEleventh-graders at Montezuma-Cortez High School scored an average of 936 on the SAT, dipping from 960 in 2017. The state average in 2018 was 1,014.
Slightly less than half of students demonstrated college-ready performance in language arts, and slightly less than a quarter of students demonstrated college-ready performance in math, the state data show.
The Colorado standard for scores that demonstrate college readiness for 11th-graders are 492 for math and 509 for English.
M-CHS scores on the math portion of the SAT also fell, dipping to 459 in 2018 compared with 470 last year. The state average in 2018 was 501.
On the reading and writing portion of the SAT, M-CHS students scored an average of 478, compared with 490 last year. The state average in 2018 was 513.
By comparison, Dolores High School 11th-graders scored a combined average of 960 in 2018 and 997 in 2017, and Mancos High School 11th-graders scored 944 in 2018 and 1,009 in 2017.
Student growthThe Colorado Department of Education also measures how much students learn during a year compared with other groups of students who scored similarly on previous state tests.
A higher score demonstrates that students are learning more and more quickly.
The scored is based on a scale of 1 to 100. The state’s median is 50, and scores above 65 are considered “high growth,” 50-64 are “adequate,” 35-49 are “moderate,” and scores below 35 are considered “low growth.”
In the Montezuma-Cortez district, Manaugh Elementary made the biggest gain, jumping to an English growth score of 49 in 2018, versus 34 in 2017. In math, Manaugh’s growth score increased to 55 in 2018 versus 27 in 2017.
Students at Manaugh, which had received the lowest rating on the state’s School Performance Framework, sharply increased their English scores in spring.
About 13.6 percent of Manaugh students met or exceeded expectations in English, up from 8.4 percent in 2017. In math, 9.2 percent of Manaugh students met or exceeded expectations, compared with 6.9 percent in 2017.
Graduation rateHaukeness also touted the district’s increased graduation rate, stating that in the past five years, more than 82 percent of students have graduated in four years, and more than 90 percent have graduated after receiving additional time and support.
Haukeness added that teachers are developing plans to improve scores this year, including increased focus and support on math, reading and writing in all grades, increased support for study times in the middle and high schools, and increased opportunities for high school students through career and honors courses.
“We know that our teachers are the key to our students’ learning and achievement,” Haukeness said, adding that the district will focus on recruiting and retaining top teachers, and providing mentors to new teachers.
“The district and schools will be reaching out to parents and families to support your students,” she said.