The Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (formerly CSAP) scores that were released last week by the Colorado Department of Education show that more third-graders in the Montezuma-Cortez School District Re-1 are reading at or above grade level, but Re-1 is are still below the state average.
Of the 212 third-graders in Re-1, 60 percent of the students were reading at or above grade level, which is a 3 percent jump from last year.
The 3 percent increase, according to Interim Superintendent Mary Rubadeau, is the highest for the Re-1 since the 2003 school year.
The third-grade reading proficiency for the entire state of Colorado increased from 73 to 74 percent.
Four Re-1 schools saw improvement in their third-graders reading proficiency, while one school dropped two percentage points from last year.
Lewis-Arriola Elementary, with 22 third-graders, remained the Re-1 school with highest TCAP scores, increasing from 84 to 86 percent of students reading at or above grade level.
Kemper Elementary, with 62 third-graders, saw the largest increase in third-graders reading proficiency, going from 49 percent to 63 percent.
Manaugh Elementarys third-grade reading proficiency increased from 50 to 52 percent, and Mesa Elementary, which had the most third-graders in the district at 64, saw its third-graders reading proficiency decrease from 61 to 59 percent, the TCAP results show.
Two other schools, because of their small sampling size, could not be reported because there must be a sampling of at least 16 students.
Incoming Superintendent Alex Carter said he was excited about the TCAP gains, but added this is just the first step because he wants the Re-1 to not only be at the state average but to exceed that number.
This is going to be a process, he said. There is no magic pill.
Carter said the Re-1 needs to dial in to find the best way for students to learn more.
Donetta Dehart, curriculum director for the Re-1, in trying to explain the 3 percent increase, said the district changed its curriculum and instruction.
We needed to bring out awareness and the best practices, she said, and added more data and research helps the district to determine and come up with better strategies.
She also said third-grade students change every year, so their growth level and achievement in later grades are better baseline scores.
Michael Maresh can be reached at email@example.com