Howbert, Holmes lead Westside in CSAPs

       Howbert Elementary and Holmes Middle each had one 90 percent proficient/ advanced score and ranked among the district's top schools in three subject/grade-levels in last spring's Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) testing.
       They also were the highest scoring overall among Westside schools, based on a review of the CSAP results released this week by the Colorado Depart-ment of Education.
       Overall, other than apparently random gains or losses in different subjects/grade levels, no schools showed noticeable improvement or decline, compared with last year's test results.
       The standardized tests are given to all students in grades 3-10 to get an idea of how well they understand the basic subjects in their grade levels. The indication of this comprehension is the percentage of students that test at proficient or advanced levels, according to education officials. Other possible scores are partly proficient and unsatisfactory.
       Howbert's 90 percent proficient/advanced occurred in fourth-grade math, which was the district's eighth best for that subject, including all grade levels. The Pleasant Valley elementary's other scores of 80 or above were 88 in fourth-grade reading, 81 in fifth-grading reading and 81 in fifth-grade math.
       Holmes' 90 percent was in sixth-grade reading (12th best in the district for that subject, among all schools). The middle school on the Mesa was solid in reading in seventh and eighth grade as well, attaining 84 percent proficient/advanced in each.
       Other Westside schools that had scores of 80 percent or above were:
       Academy for Advanced & Creative Learning (K-8) - fourth-grade math, 88 percent (11th best in the district for math); and third-grade reading, 83 percent.
       Buena Vista Elementary- fifth-grade reading, 88 percent; and third-grade reading, 80 percent.
       Midland Elementary - third-grade math, 83 percent.

       Sizeable upswings from 2010 to 2011 were shown by Jackson, fourth-grade reading, from 59 to 74 percent; Buena Vista, fifth-grade writing, 59 to 75; Midland, third-grade writing, 39 to 67; West Elementary, fifth-grade math, 28 to 51.
       District scores were generally lower in the writing category, with only seven of 80 percent or higher. So Howbert's 79 by fifth-graders ranked eighth overall and Holmes' 78 by sixth-graders was ninth.
       The district's lowest scoring subject (typical of past years) was science, a subject that's tested only by 5th, 8th and 10th graders. In that subject, Holmes' eighth graders ranked fourth in the district with a 67 percent (up 12 from last year's scores) and Howbert's fifth-graders ninth with a 62 (up 10).
       In reading, even the lowest Westside score (54 percent proficient/advanced by both the Bijou School's 10th grade and Midland Elementary's fifth grade) was better than 41 other district schools in all grade levels.
       There was less of a cushion in math, where Bijou 10th-graders' 4 percent was better only than two schools that had zero proficient/advanced. Bijou was ahead of seven schools with its 17 percent in 10th-grade science, and West Elementary ahead of 12 schools with its 25 percent in third-grade writing.

Westside Pioneer article