Performance rating at S. Conejos schools rises



ANTONITO — New state education guidelines have given local schools a new rating.
Dr. Emma Rae Martinez, superintendent of South Conejos Schools said each school in Colorado is assigned an overall school performance rating every year based on student performance and growth on state assessments.
Graduation rates and college matriculation are also considered for high schools.
"Based on our school’s performance and growth on the 2018 assessments given last spring, our District was given a preliminary rating of 'Improvement,'" she wrote in a letter to parents.
"This is really great news because we were previously at Priority Improvement. The increase in academic growth has now taken the district off of the 'accountability clock.'"
"We will continue to use our Unified Improvement Plan (UIP) to provide us with a focused improvement plan, including an analysis of student performance data and a detailed action plan to guide continuous improvement."
"The plan must incorporate ideas and feedback from parents, be approved by the South Conejos Board of Education and be submitted to the Colorado Department of Education on or before Jan. 15, 2019 for review.
"Our School Accountability Committee will hold a public meeting to gather input from parents concerning the development of the plan this fall. Prior to adopting a plan, our school board will hold a public hearing during the regular board meeting in December to review the plan."
This has been done in the past to provide guidance, along with assistance from state education experts, as the district has been struggling, especially at the middle school level.
Dr. Martinez continued, "If you have any questions about our overall school performance rating or how you can get
involved in our improvement, please contact me."

State information
The following changes pertaining to the re-naming and re-defining of the accountability clock will go into effect with the 2019 performance frameworks.
“Performance watch” replaces what was previously referred to as the “accountability clock.”
A school, district or the institute in Priority Improvement or Turnaround (PI/T) is on performance watch. After receiving two consecutive PI/T ratings, a school, district or institute must receive an improvement rating or higher for two consecutive years to exit performance watch.
If a school, for example, is on year two of performance watch and then receives an improvement rating, the school will be on a “hold year” and will still be considered to be on performance watch in year two.
If the school receives another improvement rating or higher the following year, the school will be off of performance watch. If the school, however, receives another PI/T rating then the count of years continues where it left off and the school advances to year three of performance watch. After five years of consecutive or nonconsecutive PI/T ratings while on performance watch, the state board must direct the school, district or Institute to take one of the actions, or pathways, outlined in statute
Beginning with the 2019 performance frameworks, school and district ratings will go into effect immediately upon state board approval of the final ratings. This means that the state board will direct an action in the fifth year of a PI/T rating for schools and districts on performance watch. This will shorten the current process (under which schools and districts receive six years of PI/T ratings before the state board directs an action) by a year.
Schools, districts or the Institute can request that the state board direct an action prior to the completion of the five years on performance watch, after consulting with the district accountability committee.
Beyond five years, one of the critical changes HB18-1355 makes is to specify that if student academic performance continues to put a school or district in priority improvement or turnaround beyond year five of performance watch, then the state board may in any year—and must every two years—require the district to continue the previously directed action or undertake additional or different actions. The state board will consider the state review panel’s recommendation and the length of time a district has had to implement the previously directed action, whether that was enough time and whether the action was implemented with fidelity.
Beginning with the 2019 frameworks, schools and districts beyond year five of performance watch are also still required to earn two consecutive years of improvement ratings or higher before being considered off of performance watch
This provision applies to all schools or districts that have already had a state board directed action and remain in Priority Improvement or Turnaround on the 2018 performance frameworks.
The three components pertaining to the renaming and redefining of the accountability clock do not require rule making.
These provisions go into effect with the 2019 performance frameworks.

Performance watch
“Performance watch” replaces what was previously referred to as the “accountability clock.”
A school or district in Priority Improvement or Turnaround (PI/T) is on performance watch. After receiving two consecutive PI/T ratings, a school or district must receive an Improvement rating or higher for two consecutive years to exit performance watch. If a school, for example, is on year two of performance watch and then receives an improvement rating, the school will be on a “hold year” and will still be considered to be on performance watch in year two. If the school receives another improvement rating or higher the following year, the school will be off of performance watch. If the school, however, receives another PI/T rating, then the count of years continues where it left off and the school advances to year three of performance watch.
After five years of consecutive or nonconsecutive PI/T ratings while on performance watch, the state board must direct the school, district or Institute to take one of the actions, or pathways, outlined in statute.
This provision applies to all schools or districts that have already had a state board directed action and remain in Priority Improvement or Turnaround on the 2018 performance frameworks.
One critical change in HB18-1355 is that if student academic performance continues to put a school or district in priority improvement or turnaround beyond year five of performance watch, then the state board may in any year—and must every two years—require the district to continue the previously directed action or undertake additional or different actions.
The state board will consider the state review panel’s recommendation and the length of time a district has had to implement the previously directed action, whether that was enough time and whether the action was implemented with fidelity. Schools and districts beyond year five of performance watch are also still required to earn two consecutive years of Improvement ratings or higher before being considered off of performance watch
This provision applies to all schools or districts that have already had a state board directed action and remain in priority improvement or turnaround on the 2018 performance frameworks.
HB 18-1355 made the following two revisions to the potential actions that may occur when a school or district reaches its fifth year of performance watch.
The other statutory actions remain the same (district reorganization, school closure, conversion to charter, innovation status, and, for current charter schools, replacing the governing board or operator).
These changes do not require rule making and will go into effect immediately.
The bill eliminates statutory language mandating that the state board remove district accreditation after reaching five years of PI/T ratings on performance watch and clarifies that it is one of the six options available to the state board when directing an action to a school district.
HB18-1355 clarifies that external management entities can fully or partially manage schools, but the entity must be research-based and have a proven track record of school improvement.
The following additional requirements for schools and districts in PI/T will go into effect in fall 2019. Districts, however, may choose to hold a community meeting or engage in enhanced improvement planning during the 2018-19 school year if that serves their needs, and CDE staff will be available to support those efforts.
Year 3 Community Meeting: Schools and districts in the third year of
PI/T(or earlier at district’s request) are required to incorporate additional information into a meeting concerning their improvement plan and make additional efforts to ensure parental participation. Together, districts and CDE are required to ensure the presentation of certain information including an explanation of the accountability system, options immediately available to improve performance, and what being on performance watch entails.
Improvement Plans: In the fourth year of
PI/T while on performance watch, schools and districts will be
required to plan for all possible statutory actions.
HB 18-1355 increases access to supports for those on performance watch through the following two changes.
School Transformation Grant:
The previously named School Turnaround Leadership Development Grant is renamed as the “School Transformation Grant” with an expanded scope. In addition to leadership development grant activities, schools and districts on performance watch (including those in Improvement or Performance on a hold year) also will be able to apply for grant funds to support educator professional development, to implement activities geared towards instructional transformation, or to plan or implement one of the statutory options for schools and districts with persistent low performance.
The rulemaking process for this grant program is anticipated to begin September 2018 so that schools and districts may access these grant funds during the 2018-19 academic year.


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