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Overview of Accountability Actions on Adams 14 School District
Overview of accountability actions on Adams 14 School District
The Adams 14 School District is a public school district located in Commerce City. In the 2021-22 school year, the district had 6,114 students, attending 13 schools, including seven elementary, two middle schools and two high schools. Ninety percent of students were minorities, 85% were eligible for free or reduced lunch and 56% were mulitlingual learners.
The district has struggled with low academic performance for more than a decade. This can be most comprehensively seen in Adams 14’s District Performance Framework, which is a tool that assesses Colorado school districts on measurements determined by the state’s Accountability Act. The District Performance Framework factors in such things as academic performance of students on statewide assessments, student academic growth year to year and postsecondary measures such as dropout rates and graduation rates.
Adams 14 has been on the Accountability Clock since the Accountability Act became law in 2009. From 2010 – the first year of the state’s accountability system – to 2019, the district has received only the two lowest ratings on the scale. Ratings were not assigned in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19 disruptions. In addition, there was a pause in the system in 2015.
Commissioner accepts recommendation to not reorganize Adams 14
A school organization planning committee consisting of Adams 14 and its surrounding districts – School District 27J, Adams 12 Five Star School District and Mapleton School District -- met beginning in the spring of 2022 through the summer of 2023 with the directive to examine whether reorganizing the district would be the best move for the district's students. More about the reorganization process is outlined below.
On Aug. 11, 2023, the committee released its final report, recommending Adams 14 not be reorganized. Commissioner Susana Córdova approved the recommendation on Aug. 31, ending the reorganization process.
Board restores Adams 14 School District's accreditation
On May 10, 2022, the State Board of Education voted to remove Adams 14's accreditation and initiate the process of reorganizing the school district. In addition, the board ordered the district to proceed with its plan of partnering with TNTP to improve outcomes for students. Below is an explanation of both what the removal of accreditation means and what the reorganization process is. In September 2022, the board restored accreditation to the district after learning about increased challenges the district was facing due to confusion over what loss of accreditation meant.
Board advances grant program for transportation options to help students attend higher-performing schools
Students attending low-performing schools in Adams 14 School District could have access to transportation to attend higher-performing schools in the district or in adjacent districts under a new grant program endorsed by the Colorado State Board of Education at its May 2022 meeting.
The Transportation Assistance Grant Program could be available for students who attend schools with a priority improvement or turnaround plan in districts that have priority improvement, turnaround plans or are unaccredited. Using this criterion, students in Adams 14 attending Central Elementary, Rose Hill Elementary, Alsup Elementary, Lester Arnold High School or Adams City High School would be eligible to participate.
Eligible students could attend higher-performing schools within Adams 14 or in adjacent districts in schools with a performance plan, which includes Adams 12 Five Star Schools, Brighton 27J, Mapleton or Denver.
School districts, BOCES, charter schools and community-based organizations will be eligible to apply for funding to provide transportation for eligible families who wish to send their children to higher-performing schools. For-profit transportation companies will not be eligible to apply for the grant.
School district reorganization is one action the State Board of Education may direct to a school district that has failed to meet student-performance expectations for more than five years. School district reorganization does not mean schools will close. Rather, it is a process that may result in a change in boundaries, governance or management of a district. Reorganization, as defined in state law, directs the local school board and community to have a role in the process. The commissioner of education, with support from CDE staff, works with the district and neighboring districts to finalize and implement the reorganization plan.
The commissioner will call for the appointment of a school organization planning committee by notifying the affected school districts. The school organization planning committee must include two members appointed by each of the affected local boards and one parent member appointed by each of the affected district accountability committees. While the committee must file its plans with the local boards, hold public hearings, and get approval for the plan from the commissioner, it is the voters who ultimately approve the plan.
- Frequently asked questions and answers about the reorganization process for Adams 14 School District
- Preguntas frecuentes sobre el proceso de reorganización del Distrito Escolar Adams 14
- Review the Reorganization Fact Sheet for more information (PDF).
- Revise la hoja de datos de reorganización para obtener más información (PDF).
The state board may remove a district’s accreditation when a district has been on performance watch for the full five years.
What happens when accreditation is removed?
Most importantly, schools will remain open and will continue to serve students during the regular school year. Additionally, the schools remain funded. The loss of accreditation does not impact funding or diplomas, college admission eligibility or scholarship eligibility for graduates. It is a sign that the district has received the lowest ratings in the accountability system for longer than five consecutive years.
If the state board removes a district’s accreditation under the Accountability Act, the state board will likely direct other actions, such as reorganization or converting schools into charter schools. When the district takes these other actions, the state board must reinstate the district’s accreditation at the accreditation category the state board feels is appropriate.
- Review the Accreditation Accountability Fact Sheet for more information (PDF).
- Consulte la hoja de datos de responsabilidad de acreditación para obtener más información (PDF).
Board and commissioner actions concerning Adams 14
Significant actions that have been taken to date by the State Board of Education and the Education Commissioner on Adams 14 School District:
- May 11, 2017 -- Following a hearing, the State Board of Education voted to suspend the statutory requirement to remove Adam 14’s accreditation and instead approved the district’s plan to partner with Beyond Textbooks to drive academic improvements. The state board did not direct separate, specific action for Adams City High School.
- Nov. 14 and 27, 2018 -- After no significant academic improvement in the district, the State Board of Education held a hearing where it directed the district to implement its proposal to turn over full management of the district to an external partner, for at least four years. Again, the state board did not direct separate, specific action for Adams City High School.
- May 9, 2019 -- The state board approved MGT Consulting as the district’s lead partner and voted not to take separate action on Central Elementary School.
- Sept. 9, 2021 -- The state board found the district was out of compliance with the November 2018 order.
- Sept. 10, 2021 -- The state board voted to require the district to return to full compliance with the 2018 order by Sept. 27, 2021, and to submit a joint written statement with MGT by Oct. 1.
- Oct. 4, 2021 -- The state board voted to direct the district to confirm its compliance by signing a Memo of Understanding with MGT by Oct. 7, 2021. Adams 14 signed an MOU with MGT after this directive.
- Nov. 11, 2021 -- Following MGT and CDE’s progress monitoring reports, the state board voted to set a
hearing for Central Elementary School in February 2022.
- Jan. 28, 2022 -- The state board denies the district’s request to amend the 2018 order and postpones hearing
on Central Elementary to March 2022.
- Feb. 3, 2022 -- The state board sets an accountability hearing on the district for April 2022.
- March 14, 2022 -- The state board denies Adams 14's request to postpone accountability hearings.
- April 14, 2022 -- The state board asks Adams 14 to return with detailed plans for partial management and innovation.
- April 29, 2022 -- The state board explores transportation resources for students in low-performing schools.
- May 10, 2022 -- The state board removes district accreditation, and starts a reorganization process; the board also directs Adams 14 to begin working with TNTP
- Sept. 14, 2022 -- The state board restores accreditation to the district.
- May 11, 2023 -- The state board removes Adams 14's exclusive chartering authority.
- Aug. 11, 2023 -- The Adams 14 Reorganization Committee submits its final report, recommending the district not be reorganized.
- Aug. 31, 2023 -- Colorado Education Commissioner Susana Córdova accepts the Adams 14 Reorganization Committee's recommendation for the district not to be reorganized.