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News release - State Board of Education directs action to improve schools in Greeley and Pueblo

April 24, 2017

State Board of Education directs action to improve schools in Greeley and Pueblo

Westminster Public Schools appeal of its 2016 rating denied

DENVER –  The Colorado State Board of Education during a special meeting today directed action intended to bring about dramatic improvements in student achievement at chronically low-performing schools in the Greeley 6 and Pueblo City 60 school districts.

Colorado’s 2009 Accountability Act requires the board mandate specific actions to boost student academic outcomes at schools and districts with more than five consecutive years of poor performance in the state’s accountability system.

Innovation status approved for schools in Greeley 6
The board directed Greeley 6 School District to pursue innovation status for Prairie Heights and Franklin middle schools, both of which are entering their sixth year with low ratings on the state’s accountability system.  Innovation status will allow waivers from certain state and district rules, enabling the schools to increase professional development for staff as well as adopt personalized learning and project-based learning models for students.  

The plans to pursue innovation status in Greeley were supported by both the Colorado Department of Education and the district.

Management partner directed for three schools in Pueblo City 60
The board directed Pueblo City 60 School District to further develop their accountability pathway for three schools entering their sixth year with low ratings on the state’s accountability system -- Bessemer Elementary School, Heroes Middle School and Risley International Academy of Innovation.  The board directed CDE staff to follow up with a proposed written determination for external management to be considered by the board in June.

In addition, the state board directed the district to develop a separate written determination to pursue innovation status in conjunction with a management partner for all three schools.  Risley International Academy of Innovation is currently a member of the district’s newly created innovation zone, but the other two schools have not been part of the zone, which is already showing progress.  Four of the six schools currently in the zone achieved Improvement or Performance on the 2016 Performance Frameworks.

In June, the board will consider both proposed written determinations and then direct final action.

Board denies Westminster Public Schools’ appeal of its 2016 rating
The state board denied Westminster Public Schools’ appeal of its 2016 accreditation rating, and maintained the district’s rating of priority improvement.  With this decision, the district will come forward on May 4 for its accountability pathway hearing following more than five years of low performance on the state’s accountability system.

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