Jeffco Schools

Jeffco students mark new high on CMAS growth data

Staff report
Posted 8/22/17

Growth can be seen from almost all grade levels in the Jeffco Public Schools Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) performance results. Jeffco’s overall district CMAS English Language Arts (ELA) and Math median scores went up for all grades …

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Jeffco Schools

Jeffco students mark new high on CMAS growth data

Posted

Growth can be seen from almost all grade levels in the Jeffco Public Schools Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) performance results. Jeffco’s overall district CMAS English Language Arts (ELA) and Math median scores went up for all grades with the exception of eighth grade math, which held steady.

“Because the size of our district sometimes makes it hard to see big gains, we’re particularly excited and proud of these results,” said Matt Flores, Chief Academic Officer. “We know tests are only one way to measure our schools — we have many ways to evaluate learning — but these results are inspiring.”

Though test score averages for most grades largely held steady or increased, the percent of those meeting or exceeding state standards did see two noticeable drops. In fifth grade math, the percent of students meeting or exceeding expectations dropped by 1.8 percent. Students in seventh grade math saw a similar 2 percent drop.

Flores said the trend data shows that many Jeffco schools and students are making “great strides toward academic success.”

“Schools use CMAS data to evaluate their efforts, and this year the fruits of those labors are especially evident,” Flores said.

One example of those strides is Vivian Elementary School in the Lakewood/Wheat Ridge area, which received a grant from the Colorado Department of Education for priority improvement and turnaround schools. At that school, ELA percentile growth was 42 in 2015-16, and went up to 64.5 in 2016-17. In addition, the Math percentile growth was 37 and increased to 68.5.

“When our staff looked at our school’s 2016-17 growth data we were thrilled to see the results of our hard work,” said Vivian Elementary Principal Sherry Carter. “We knew it would take grit and collaboration to accomplish the growth our students needed and deserved. The Vivian community fully embraced the new learning methods, and we developed our new mission and vision, which remain the focus of all we do and who we are.”

Other Jeffco Public Schools district-level highlights for the 2016-17 CMAS ELA/Math results include: an ELA median growth in the 52nd percentile, an increase of three percentile points over the prior year; a math median growth increase to the 53rd percentile; the majority of the district’s median growth percentiles in both ELA and Math surpassing the state’s median performance; the percentile of Math growth for students on Individualized Education Plans increasing from 42 to 48.5; and male students increasing four percentile points in ELA.

The biggest improvements overall for the district were in fifth (up 5 percent) and eighth grade (up 4.6 percent) ELA.

“Of course, there is always room for improvement,” Flores said. “We need to examine our seventh and eighth grade growth results, and a few of our schools need some additional support. Students on free and reduced lunch showed progress, but we’d really like to see more. We also continue to tackle the growth gap between Hispanic and White students.”

But overall, Flores said the district is “extremely pleased.”

State and district results can be found at www.cde.state.co.us/assessment/cmas-dataandresults.

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