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Jeffco school board looks at student achievement

A contract for Drake Middle School additions also approved


In its first board meeting of the school year, the Jefferson County Board of Education looked at the districts performance on the most recent Colorado Measures of Academic Success test results.

One area of concern for school board member Ali Lasell was the drop in achievement in English language arts for 2016 sixth grade students and 2017 seventh grade students. In sixth grade, these students landed in the 59th median growth percentile. In seventh grade they fell to the 44th.

This, can be for many reasons, Lasell was told by district staff. one of which is the testing of different skills, such as poetry versus non-fiction.

In math, the gap between accelerated and grade-level students pointed out in 2016 results still exists. In eighth grade, students have the choice of taking accelerated classes including algebra, geometry and algebra 2. Students taking those classes have a higher percentage of those meeting or exceeding expectations at 42, 75 and 91 percent respectively. Just 20 percent of students taking grade-level eighth grade math are at this achievement level.

Data among subgroups in all subjects — English language arts, math and science — are unchanged. This is a cause for concern for board member Amanda Stevens, who suggested that staff take a closer look at the outliers.

Looking forward, the next steps for the district are to prioritize support for low achieving schools and implement professional learning.

“We are making progress, but we do have work to do,” said board president Ron Mitchell.

Drake additions

The Jeffco Board of Education also approved a contract to MOA Architecture for the Drake Middle School addition and renovation. The approval of the $812,000 contract was part of the consent agenda Sept. 7.

On May 4, the Board determined that an addition and renovations to Drake were necessary to provide additional capacity for a sixth-grade level program. On March 7, MOA Architecture was selected by the Facilities and Construction Management department to provide a proposal for design services for the Drake additions and renovations. They were chosen from a pool of three pre-qualified consultants based on the design team’s experience with similar projects throughout Jeffco Public Schools.

A fee proposal in the amount of $812,000 was received on April 19. Design work will be funded by the 2017 Capital Improvement Program and is scheduled for completion this month.


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