School District Improves Accreditation Rating
The Lake County School District (LCSD) is no long “on the clock,” when it comes to the Colorado Department of Education’s (CDE) accreditation rating. Residents may recall the recent 4-year stall on the ratings chart at the “Accredited with a Priority Improvement Plan” level, giving the district five years to improve their status or “face consequences” from the state. The most recent report bumps LCSD up into the next level, putting a stop to the clock, for now.
“Improving outcomes for students in our district is a journey, and we still have a long way to go,” said LSCD Superintendent Dr. Wendy Wyman, referring to the recently released report.
“However, the improvement in our accreditation rating is a sign that our reforms are beginning to have an impact, and that the hard work of our teachers and our students is paying off.”
Wyman was referring to The Colorado Department of Education’s (CDE) 2014 school district accreditation ratings, which was recently released to the public. This time, Lake County School District has a new rating, one that reflects measurable improvement. For the past four years, Lake County has been “Accredited with a Priority Improvement Plan.” This year, Lake County will be “Accredited with an Improvement Plan.” The change is the result of improved academic performance in the district.
“We believe this is going to be a great year for the Lake County School District,” said Wyman. “The energy our staff is bringing to professional development is palpable, and seeing concrete, if incremental, results from all of our efforts is a definite boost. We want the community to know that we share their desire for and commitment to improvement in our schools. We have great momentum, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for our kids.”
It should be noted, that schools also receive annual CDE ratings, known as plan types. Given the reconfiguration of grades in Lake County, the school labels for 2014 don’t match the grades that will be in those schools this year. However, plan types follow grade levels, regardless of whether a grade stays in the same school.
With that in mind, Lake County also saw some improvement in its school / grade level ratings in 2014. Specifically, grades 5-8 have moved from having a plan type of “Turnaround” to a plan type of “Priority Improvement.” Like the district rating, this is a result of improved results in these grade levels.
Grades 3-4 are the only two grades that remain on a “Turnaround” plan type in the district. In 2014, grades 9-12 maintained the highest possible plan type of “Performance.” The high school grades exceeded expected results in several areas, including overall graduation rate and graduation rate for minority students.
Details about CDE’s Accreditation Ratings:
The purpose of the Colorado Department of Education accreditation rating is to provide a statewide comparison that shows where districts are doing well and where they can improve. Colorado has five accreditation ratings for school districts (highest to lowest):
- Accredited with Distinction
- Accredited with Improvement Plan
- Accredited with Priority Improvement Plan
- Accredited with Turnaround Plan
School districts accredited in the lowest two categories are considered “on the clock,” meaning that they have five years to improve their status or face consequences from the state. By raising its outcomes to become Accredited with Improvement Plan, Lake County as a district is no longer on this clock.
“We are really proud of them,” concluded Wyman, referring to the accreditation improvements.