PSD students exceed state averages on 2023 CMAS and PSAT/SAT exams

Poudre School District students once again performed significantly better than their peers statewide on standardized testing, according to spring 2023 assessment data released Aug. 17 by the Colorado Department of Education. 

PSD students had double-digit leads in meeting or exceeding expectations in all subjects and grade levels compared to state averages on 2023 Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) tests, as well as PSAT and SAT exams. In addition, two-thirds of PSD elementary schools and more than half of our middle schools had median growth percentiles at or above 50 in both CMAS English Language Arts (ELA) and math. Schools with a median growth percentile of 50 or more have students who are growing on pace or faster than their statewide peers year-over-year. 

“Our already high-achieving students are doing well and growing more. This is exciting news. It doesn’t mean our work stops here. Our ultimate goal is to ensure every student succeeds. We will continue to work toward that goal through steps like rolling out our new elementary literacy curriculum this fall and making sure all students graduate with options,” said Superintendent Brian Kingsley. 

An encouraging sign coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic is that the district is seeing CMAS achievement return to, approach, or exceed pre-pandemic levels, in particular on CMAS English Language Arts tests. CMAS testing was paused in spring 2020 while schools were remote, and spring 2021 testing had low participation, causing CDE to advise people that comparisons and conclusions using 2021 data “should be drawn with caution or completely avoided.”  

Assessment data helps teachers tailor instruction to improve student performance and helps schools build plans for improvement as students return to school. Staff training, updated curriculum, and paying attention to students’ academic and social-emotional needs also help ensure that PSD remains a high-performing, high-growth school district. 

“Our system takes this mission seriously – we use test data to pinpoint areas we need to focus on and think of strategies for better supporting all kids,” said Dr. Dwayne Schmitz, chief institutional effectiveness officer for PSD. 

There are celebrations across the district for schools that are growing, continuing to perform well, or a combination of both. Celebrations for 2023 CMAS results are: 

  • ELA and math performance exceeded pre-pandemic levels at Laurel, O’Dea, Riffenburgh and Shepardson elementary schools and Lesher Middle School. 
  • High growth in both ELA and math performance occurred at Linton (60th percentile ELA, 65th percentile math), McGraw (74th percentile ELA, 76th percentile math), Traut (77th percentile ELA, 74th percentile math) and Zach (79th percentile ELA, 67th percentile math) elementary schools. 
  • High growth occurred at Cache La Poudre (57th percentile ELA, 62nd percentile math), Kinard (57th percentile ELA, 65th percentile math), and Lesher (56th percentile ELA, 55th percentile math) middle schools. 

PSAT and SAT results were also released by the state on Aug. 17. PSD ninth graders who took the PSAT in 2023 scored higher than PSD ninth graders in 2022 in both English and math, and 10th-graders in PSD scored higher in 2023 than in 2022 on PSAT math. PSD high school students again had double-digit leads over their peers statewide in all grades and subjects on PSAT and SAT.  

CMAS, PSAT, and SAT results at the school, district, and state level can be viewed on the CDE website.


CMAS 2023

  • ELA = English Language Arts
  • % met or exceeded expectations
  • N/A = Not Applicable

Third, Fourth and Fifth Grades

Third Grade

PSD ELA: 56%

CO ELA: 39.9%

Diff.: +16.1

PSD Math: 54.3%

CO Math: 40.4%

Diff.: + 13.9

Science: N/A



Fourth Grade

PSD ELA: 59.1%

CO ELA: 43.8%

Diff.: +15.3

PSD Math: 49.4%

CO Math: 32.7%

Diff.: +16.7

 Science: N/A



Fifth Grade

PSD ELA: 64.3%

CO ELA: 47.8%

Diff.: +16.5

PSD Math: 52.6%

CO Math: 36.5%

Diff.: +16.1

PSD Science: 49.5%

CO Science: 33.9%

Diff.: +15.6

Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Grades

Sixth Grade

PSD ELA: 56.6%

CO ELA: 43.4%

Diff.: +13.2

PSD Math: 44.6%

CO Math: 28.2%

Diff.: +16.4

Science: N/A



Seventh Grade

PSD ELA: 57.3%

CO ELA: 45%

Diff.: +12.3

PSD Math: 41.7%

CO Math: 26.3%

Diff.: +15.4

Science: N/A


Eighth Grade

PSD ELA: 58.3%

CO ELA: 42.4%

Diff.: +15.9

PSD Math: 53.5%

CO Math: 32.7%

Diff.: +20.8

PSD Science: 46.6%

CO Science: 31.3%

Diff.:  +15.3

Eleventh Grade

English: N/A

Math: N/A

PSD Science: 45.6%

CO Science: 24.6%

Diff.: +21 



  • R&W = Evidence-based reading and writing
  • % met or exceeded expections

Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Grades

Ninth Grade - PSAT

PSD R&W: 80.7%

CO R&W: 63.6%

Diff.: +17.1

PSD Math: 65.7%

CO Math: 46.5%

Diff.: +19.2


Tenth Grade - PSAT

PSD R&W: 80.5%

CO R&W: 64.5%

Diff.: +16

PSD Math: 57.9%

CO Math: 37.9%

Diff.: +20


Eleventh Grade - SAT

PSD R&W: 71.6%

CO R&W: 58.9%

Diff.: +12.7

PSD Math: 47.5%

CO Math: 35.2%

Diff.: +12.3