Howbert comes through on CSAPs
Elementary’s scores among district’s highest

       Named after one of the leading lights in Westside and Colorado Springs history, Irving Howbert Elementary did its namesake proud with high scores in last spring's Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) testing. The results were announced this week by the Colorado Department of Education.
       District 11's Pleasant Valley school scored over 90 percent proficient or advanced (also called “passing”) in 6 of the 10 tests for grades 3 through 5. Compared with other elementaries in the district, Howbert had the high score in fifth-grade science (84 percent - 10 above the second best), tied for tops in fourth-grade math (97) and was in at least the top five in all but third-grade writing, where a 67 was its only result below the 80s or 90s.
       “I'm really pleased,” said Howbert Principal David Morris. Even before Morris' arrival at the school two years ago, Howbert had attained a state-determined CSAP Excellent rating. But 2008 may prove to be its best showing yet.
       He cited “good teachers,” a consistently taught curriculum, attention to individual academic needs, before- and after-school tutoring and “integrating writing through the different academic areas.” On the latter point, he believes a good example is the upturn in fifth-grade science: Last year's score in that category was only 50 percent proficient.
       But the teaching is the main point, he said. “That makes all the difference. Now we'll just try to sustain the momentum.”
       During a career dating back to Colorado City of the 1860s, Irving Howbert was at different times an Indian fighter, county clerk, railroad man, banker, mining executive and advisor to Colorado Springs founder William Palmer.
       The school named after him had by far the most impressive CSAP test scores on the Westside this year. Others showed either modest increases or declines in different subjects and grade levels, with no trends seemingly apparent. The only other Westside schools with scores in the 90s were by Pike Elementary (whose 94 percent proficient/ advanced in fourth-grade math was third-best among elementaries) and Midland (93 percent, also in fourth-grade math).
       Howbert's other scores in the 90s were third-grade math, 95 percent; fourth-grade reading, 92; fifth-grade math, 93; fifth-grade reading, 91; and fifth-grade writing, 93.
       The annual CSAP tests are designed to indicate how well students in different schools are learning the fundamental subject matter. Further computer analyses will follow in the weeks ahead. For example, Howbert, with about one-third students on free and reduced-lunch programs, will be compared in performance with schools statewide having similar poverty numbers.

Westside Pioneer article