District accredited with performance rating for fourth year

Thursday, August 29, 2019 - 11:45am
Hundreds of staff members pose behind a #FiveStarProud banner

Achieved greatest growth over time among districts with similar demographics

For the fourth consecutive year, Adams 12 Five Star Schools has been accredited as a Performance District, the second highest rating for school districts in the state of Colorado. The Five Star District earned 61.9 percent of framework points, an increase of nearly 5 percentage points since 2016 when the district received its first Performance rating.

Based on the recent state release of preliminary ratings for school districts, the Five Star District has demonstrated the greatest sustained academic growth over the past five years as compared to districts with similar demographics. Comparable districts include eight additional school districts across the state with similar student enrollment, free and reduced lunch percentage, and the percentage of English language learners. In 2014, the Five Star District was rated an Improvement district and ranked eighth out of nine comparable districts; in 2019 the Five Star District now ranks second among those same districts. 

“We’ve now solidly arrived in the Performance category with peer districts and we’re doing incredible work to serve our diverse group of kids, but we’re within two points of being the top,” said Superintendent Gdowski. “Now as a district, we will work together to build on a foundation of very good to even better to take the top spot.”

Performance Indicators
To arrive at an overall evaluation of a school’s or district’s performance, the state considers three key performance indicators. Those measures of educational success include: academic achievement (how well students are doing mastering standards), academic growth (how much academic progress students are making from year-to-year compared to their peers with similar achievement results), and postsecondary and workforce readiness.

The Five Star District saw improvement in the academic achievement performance indicator and continues to see a strong percentage of points earned in academic growth. While achievement is focused on performance at a specific point in time, growth provides an indication of what happens in between the assessments. Students at all levels - elementary through high school - in the Five Star District met state expectations in eight of the nine categories tested including English language arts, math and English language proficiency. 

The success the district achieved in both performance indicators can be attributed to strong gains seen in performance on statewide assessments at all levels and the academic progress our students make year-to-year as compared to their peers with similar achievement results. More about these accomplishments can be seen in the recent release of academic achievement and academic growth by the state

School Performance
Success at the district level wouldn’t be possible without schools focusing on elevating student success in every classroom, every day. Notable accomplishments were seen at all levels with 41 schools receiving a Performance rating, the highest rating given to schools by the state. For the first time, all three district alternative campuses received a performance rating, two of which earned their high performance score to date. Nine of those schools received their highest performance score to date, with three earning a performance rating for the first time in the school’s history.

Nine schools receive their highest performance score to date:

  • Coronado Hills Elementary - Performance rating with 65.7 percentage points

  • Malley Drive Elementary - Performance rating with 57.1 percentage points (earning first performance rating)

  • New America Thornton - Performance rating with 63.1 percentage points 

  • North Star Elementary - Performance rating with 59.6 percentage points (earning first performance rating)

  • Northglenn Middle - Performance rating with 62.8 percentage points

  • Pathways Future Center - Performance rating with 66.9 percentage points (earning first performance rating)

  • Rocky Top Middle - Performance rating with 79.9 percentage points

  • Stukey Elementary - Performance rating with 64.2 percentage points

  • Tarver Elementary - Performance rating with 86.3 percentage points

Additionally, six schools - three elementary, two middle and one alternative campus - increased by nearly 10 percentage points, representing a significant gain since 2018. Federal Heights Elementary moved two spots from a Turnaround rating to an Improvement rating, demonstrating strong growth from the lowest school rating to the second highest. Federal Heights’ high levels of student growth can be attributed to the staff’s focus on a commitment to common instructional practices and outcomes for all students. At the middle school level, The International School at Thornton Middle saw a significant increase in percentage points to move out of Priority Improvement and earn an Improvement rating. Pathways Future Center received a Performance rating for the first time in the school's history. 

In its first year, Thunder Vista P-8 received a Performance rating with 92.5 percentage points ranking it in the top 2 percent of all schools in the state. Over time, seven schools in the Five Star District have earned more than 90 percentage points.     

“These state ratings represent the academic success achieved due to the hard work of the entire Five Star Community, including students, staff and parents,” said Superintendent Gdowski. “I am grateful for a community that focuses day in and day out on elevating the success of all of our students, no matter their situation." 

Watch a video message from Superintendent Chris Gdowski about our impressive academic performance milestone

District Performance Framework Celebration 2019