Academy ACL tops D-11 in 2 categories, Midland 1 in state testing results

       Several scores exceeding 90 percent proficient and advanced (P&A) highlighted the performance of Westside District 11 students in the state's annual testing of grade-level reading, writing and math last spring.

Taking a break from a school community art project last January, Midland Elementary students try out a mass pull-up exercise.
Westside Pioneer photo

       In three cases, Westside schools had the best scores for their grade levels in all of District 11. The Academy for Advanced & Creative Learning (Academy ACL) led in sixth-grade reading (94.7 percent P&A) and fourth-grade reading (91.2), while Midland Elementary was the best in fourth-grade math (95.2).
       The results were announced by the state this week.
       Administered through the Colorado Department of Education, the test is titled the Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP). “Proficient” scores reflect students who are at the desired comprehension level for their grade level; “advanced” is above that. Other possible scores are “partly proficient” and “unsatisfactory.”
       Academy ACL is a D-11 charter school, geared for K-8 gifted students, which opened in the former Pike Elementary building in the fall of 2010. “We were really excited to see our hard work during the year paying off,” Principal Nikki Myers said. “We had math targets, and we made good gains in reading.”
       Midland's performance is considered significant in educational circles because it is a “Title 1” school, meaning that more than 75 percent of its students (actually 80.38 percent of them last school year) have parental income levels that qualify them for the federal free/reduced lunch program.
       Principal Jeremy Cramer praised his fourth-grade teacher, Suzanne Estrada, as “exceptional at teaching mathematics.” Her students, as a group, “worked very hard and were motivated to give their best effort.”
       Other Westside-noteworthy scores in last spring's TCAPs were fifth-grade reading, where Academy ACL had the second best score in the district (95.0 percent P&A), and Howbert third best (93.0).
       Academy ACL tallied the third best P&A percentage for D-11 schools in third-grade math with a 90.0.
       Westside schools also had several TCAP scores above 80 percent P&A. These were as follows:
  • Academy ACL, fourth-grade math, 85.3; sixth-grade math, 84.2.
  • Buena Vista Elementary, third-grade reading, 87.5.
  • Howbert Elementary, third-grade reading, 85.2; fifth-grade writing, 86.0; fifth-grade math, 86.0;
  • Jackson Elementary, fifth-grade reading, 81.4; fifth-grade math, 83.7.
  • Holmes Middle, sixth-grade reading, 85.4; seventh-grade reading, 82.3; and eighth-grade reading, 83.6.

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