Five D60 Schools show big strides in state rankings - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Five D60 Schools show big strides in state rankings

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Four years ago, Carlile Elementary was sitting in "Turnaround" status, which is the state's lowest quality rating.

"We've really worked with teachers on how to get their students engaged in the classroom--whether that be during direct instruction, whole group, or a small group setting," said Principal Erika Slaughter.

The district recently announced they are one of five schools that jumped up to "Performance," which is the state's top ranked tier.

It's motivation for schools like Heroes Middle School, who--along with two other D60 schools--required state intervention this year, after failing to get off of the State's accountability clock.

The new Innovation plan has brought some noticeable changes for students.

"We have a different schedule, they're taking 'academies.'  Last year, students requested yoga, which we're offering now.  We're also offering Spanish, which we didn't offer first quarter," explained Heroes Academy Principal Julie Shue.
"My granddaughter is thriving in this setting," said Leslie Giadone, who has one grandchild at Heroes Middle School, and one at the Elementary School.

"The opportunities that are available to her just amaze me.  She was part of the summit committee and supplied some ideas of what she'd like to see.  And they listened to those kids," she added.

They've also added on more than 20 extra minutes each week to all core classes.

"If you multiply that over the course of a year, we actually have these really unique classes that are relevant and kind of student interest driven--but we also have more time dedicated to 'core' and we didn't have to expand our school day to do it," said Shue.

Heroes won't find out until next August whether they've successfully moved off the state's Accountability Clock, but they already appear to be meeting parents' expectations.

"At this point, I don't know if I could be any happier.  I know there's some wrinkles to iron out and some fine tuning to do--but I'm very hopeful," said Giadone.

Heroes Elementary didn't require state intervention, but was in Turnaround status.

It was just announced they have moved up to Priority Improvement--putting them one step closer to also being taken off the Accountability Clock.

Here's a list of the five schools that moved up in ranking:

Heaton Middle School - Improvement to Performance 
Carlile Elementary School - Improvement to Performance 
South Park Elementary - Improvement to Performance 
Highland Park Elementary - Priority Improvement to Improvement 
Heroes Elementary School - Turnaround to Priority Improvement

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