This week, the Colorado Department of Education released preliminary accreditations for schools across the state, and four Cortez campuses have achieved the highest accreditation plan rating.
This is the highest number of district schools to achieve the top rating. As a whole, the Montezuma-Cortez School District Re-1 received a Priority Improvement Plan rating for this round, but that may change once Southwest Open Schools data come in – if SWOS meets its alternative high school accreditation, the district can appeal its rating.
“We are very proud of these improvements in accreditation in so many of our schools,” said Superintendent Lori Haukeness in a statement. “We are committed to ensuring that we provide an excellent education to every student, every day.”
Every year, schools and districts across the state are rated and given a corresponding plan type based on certain performance metrics, including: state assessments, graduation rates, dropout rates, matriculation rates, and PSAT and SAT scores.
Ratings also evaluate participation, and in some cases, a low participation rate can bring down a school’s or a district’s rating.
Plan types from high to low are: Performance, Improvement, Priority Improvement, and Turnaround. Participation is calculated based on whether or not schools or districts have participation above 95% in two or more content areas.
So far based on this year’s preliminary data, four schools earned the highest plan rating of “Performance”: Battle Rock Charter School, and Lewis-Arriola, Manaugh and Pleasant View elementary schools.
Mesa Elementary School, Montezuma-Cortez High School and Montezuma-Cortez Middle School earned “Improvement Plan” accreditations, the second-highest on the performance plan rating grid.
And two schools were on the “Priority Improvement Plan”: Children’s Kiva Montessori School and Kemper Elementary School.
SWOS is accredited based on different standards since it is an alternative-education campus.
“When SWOS meets their targets, the district has the option to not include SWOS data in the accreditation report,” Haukeness said. “When the district receives notice that SWOS has met its accreditation targets, the district will apply for a higher accreditation rating to the Colorado Department of Education.”
Battle Rock and Manaugh have seen significant improvements in recent years. In 2017, both schools were on a Turnaround Plan rating, but have jumped up since – in 2018, Battle Rock had a Priority Improvement Plan accreditation and Manaugh an Improvement Plan rating, and this year they both earned a Performance Plan rating.