Routt County schools to be recognized for excellence by state |

Routt County schools to be recognized for excellence by state

Scott Franz

Sixth-graders at Steamboat Springs Middle School work Wednesday during a technology class. The school has been named a John Irwin School of Excellence for the sixth year in a row by the Colorado Department of Education.

— Every year, Steamboat Springs Middle School Principal Tim Bishop gets calls from educators across the state who want to know the same thing:

How does your school do so well?

For the sixth year in a row, the Colorado Department of Education will recognize Bishop’s school as a John Irwin School of Excellence.

The award will be given to 165 Colorado schools where students exceeded state expectations on the Transitional Colorado Student Assessment Program, and it is the highest honor the state education department can bestow on a campus for its academic performance.

Bishop attributed the award to many things, including the hard work of his teachers and students and the support the students receive at home.

He added maintaining the award is important.

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"People look at this data when they are deciding whether to bring their kids to school here," Bishop said while holding the report card of TCAP scores that showed his school vastly outperforming the state’s expectations.

Of all the campuses in Steamboat, the middle school posted the strongest TCAP scores in the 2011-12 school year.

In every grade level and every subject, its students scored well above state averages.

The middle schoolers saw their strongest scores on the reading portion of the test, on which 88 percent of sixth-graders, 90 percent of seventh-graders and 92 percent of eighth-graders scored proficient or advanced.

"It is a big accomplishment to have our students perform so high, so consistently," Bishop said.

In addition to the John Irwin award, the middle school and North Routt Community Charter School will receive the Governor’s Distinguished Improvement Award.

That award recognizes schools where students show substantial growth in the TCAP scores from the previous year and in certain subgroups such as English language learners and special education students.

"I can’t say enough of how hard my teachers work to make sure we are successful," charter school director Colleen Poole said.

She attributed her students’ growth on the TCAP to a more individualized curriculum being implemented at the small campus in Clark.

Steamboat’s two campuses will be honored Dec. 18 by the state during a ceremony in Denver, where the Steamboat Springs School District also will be accredited with distinction.

Steamboat is one of few schools across the state that has earned the highest accreditation rating from the state every year since it implemented the grading system three years ago.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email