Poudre School District achieved “Accredited” status through the Colorado Department of Education’s (CDE) accountability process for the second year in a row. Additionally, PSD improved its ratings in three of the four key performance indicators that are the basis of the Performance Framework Report.
The CDE Performance Framework measures student outcomes in academic achievement, academic growth, academic growth gaps (growth for specific groups of students) and postsecondary/workforce readiness. It also looks at test participation. Each indicator is given a rating of Exceeds, Meets, Approaching or Does Not Meet based on the number of points earned in each area. PSD had a “Meets” requirements rating in all areas except academic growth gaps which remained at “Approaching.”
We are pleased to see that PSD has maintained its accredited status through improved performance results,” said Todd Lambert, Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment. “Overall, PSD’s greatest areas of improvement were in academic growth and academic growth gaps at the secondary level.”
Districts are also assigned a status rating based on total points earned on the four framework indicators: Accredited with Distinction, Accredited, Accredited with Improvement, Accredited with Priority Improvement Plan or Accredited with Turnaround Plan.
PSD received 71.8 out of 100 possible points on the framework, an increase from 69.1 in 2010. Districts with 80 points or greater receive the Accredited with Distinction status.
This is CDE’s second year of implementing the revised accreditation processes that are required by the 2009 Education Accountability Act. The Performance Framework Report summarizes districts’ progress on the 2011 CSAP, Colorado Growth Model, dropout rates, graduation rates and the ACT.
Overall, PSD increased its percentage of points earned in Academic Achievement from 75% in 2010 to 77.1% in 2011. Academic Growth percentages jumped from 69.2% to 72.2% while Academic Growth Gaps increased nearly 9 percentage points to 57.2%. Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness held steady at 75%.
At the elementary level, students performed in the top 25% of the state in all areas: at the 81st percentile in reading, 76th percentile in math, 87th percentile in writing and 80th percentile in science. Students also exceeded the state norm of 50 in terms of median percentile growth in all three subject areas. Specific groups of students at the elementary level, however, did not meet state expectations in some subject areas. These groups include students who qualify for free and reduced lunch, minority students, students with disabilities, English, Language Learners and students who are not proficient in the four subject areas.
Middle School Students
Middle School students demonstrated strong gains in all areas, performing in the top 20% of the state in all four subject areas. Students performed at the 82nd percentile in reading, 94th percentile in math, 88th percentile in writing and 82nd percentile in science. Middle School growth also exceeded the state norm of 50 based on median growth percentiles in reading, writing and math. Significant improvement was made in terms of growth for the targeted subgroups including a 12 percentile point gain in reading, a 14 percentile point jump in math and 8 percentile point increase in writing by students with disabilities.
High School Students
High School students also made significant gains, performing in the top 30% of the state in all areas. Students performed at the 71st percentile in reading, 84th percentile in math, 85th percentile in writing and 80th percentile in science. The median growth percentiles were all above the state norm of 50 with the exception of math, which came in at 49. High school sub groups also made incredible gains including a 15 percentile point jump by students with disabilities in reading, a 10 percentile point jump in math and a 17 percentile point jump in writing.
Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness
PSD continued to make strides in this area, increasing its graduation rate from 83.1% in 2010 to 84.7% in 2011 while decreasing the dropout rate from 1.7% to 1.2%. The ACT composite score dipped three-tenths of a point to 21.6, but still outpaced the Colorado average of 20.7 and the national average of 21.1.
In addition to giving PSD an overall status and rating the district in terms of the four key performance indicators, the Performance Framework Report also details how each school performed in those areas in 2011 and awards each school a plan type based on their status. Possible school plan types include Performance Plan, Improvement Plan, Priority Improvement Plan and Turnaround Plan.
Forty-six of fifty PSD schools attained the Performance Plan status. Lincoln Middle School and Poudre School District Global Academy were designated as having an Improvement Plan status. Putnam Elementary dropped to Turnaround Plan, narrowly missing the cutoff for Priority Improvement Plan by less than 1 percentage point.
When PSD reviewed the initial plan assignment for Putnam Elementary and learned that the school would be required to submit a Turnaround Plan, district leaders collaborated with the Putnam school community to begin developing improvement strategies designed to address performance areas that fell below expectations. Strategies include, but are not limited to, one-on-one support for teachers through instructional coaching and modeling, increased professional development for teachers on how to deliver the new Colorado Academic Standards and ways to monitor student progress in reading and math to help inform instruction. PSD is confident this will help Putnam turn the corner in terms of student achievement this year.
Lastly, several schools are listed as Alternative Education Campuses, which means they are not a traditional, comprehensive school. AEC designated schools are rated on the four key performance indicators of academic achievement, academic growth, student engagement and postsecondary workforce readiness. AEC plan assignment types are the same as traditional schools.
Centennial High School and Poudre Community Academy, both of which serve transitional, mobile populations with different types of challenges than the comprehensive high schools, fall under the AEC plans. Centennial performed at the Performance Plan level while PCA missed the Improvement Plan designation by 2.5%, instead receiving a Priority Improvement Plan status.
PSD continues to work closely with all schools to improve student achievement across the district. Administration is working with the District Accountability Committee to refine the Unified Improvement Plan, which outlines how the district is tackling key performance issues related to three specific areas: Initiative management, creation of a district-wide learning framework to implement the new Colorado Academic Standards and compiling best practices to help teachers tailor instruction to individual student needs. The revised Unified Improvement Plan will be presented to the Board of Education in January, 2012.
For more information, read the 2011 Performance Framework Report fact sheet.