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County schools meet federal rules

Brent Boyer

All 13 Routt County public schools met federal standards for student progress during the 2003-04 academic year, according to results released this week by the Colorado Department of Education.

Under provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, all public schools must make Adequate Yearly Progress, or AYP, to avoid certain consequences. AYP was developed as the government’s tool for monitoring No Child Left Behind.

To make AYP, public schools must meet specific requirements, including a 95 percent student participation rate on state assessments. Schools also must meet statewide math and reading targets and have at least 1 percent of their students scoring at the advanced level in math and reading.

Included under the umbrella of AYP are standards of achievement for particular subgroups of students, such as white and minority students and special education students. However, schools are only required to meet targets for those subgroups if they have 30 or more students in the subgroup for two consecutive years.

Kelly Stanford, director of curriculum and instruction for the Steamboat Springs School District, said the district expects to meet AYP each year, particularly because Steamboat students typically exceed the state averages on Colorado Student Assessment Program tests.

“It’s not a surprise to us,” Stanford said. “It’s one more piece in a body of evidence regarding the strengths of our schools.”

Last year, Steamboat Springs Middle School failed to make AYP because too many students opted out of CSAP testing. The participation rate requirement that makes up a component of AYP was modified this year, Stanford said.

South Routt School District Superintendent Steve Jones wasn’t surprised by his district’s perfect AYP performance, either.

“It hasn’t been something we’ve paid a lot of attention to,” Jones said. “We’re more tuned in with our accreditation contract with the Colorado Department of Education.

“Basically, our philosophy is we’ll work hard on achievement for every student. If we do that, AYP will take care of itself, and it has.”

All three Hayden School District schools also made AYP. Superintendent Mike Luppes didn’t immediately return phone calls seeking comment.

— To reach Brent Boyer call 871-4234

or e-mail bboyer@steamboatpilot.com


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