There is cause for celebration at the Alamosa School District. The Colorado Department of Education released new school performance frameworks Tuesday that showed Alamosa Schools at the green accredited standard for the first time in five years.
Superintendent Diana Jones, who has begun her third year, said the turnaround happened sooner than she expected and credited school principals and their staff for the improved performance.
“It’s all based on academic growth, meaning we did exactly what we’re supposed to do. We take our students where they are and we take them as far as they can go and I’m so proud of each of you,” she said in delivering the news to school principals and other educational leaders in the district.
Alamosa High School has been the building block with a decade of meeting the state’s education performance standards. Alamosa Elementary grades three through five and Ortega Middle School each leaped two levels in the latest performance framework categories to lift the school district as a whole to a level of meeting the state’s standards not reached since 2018.
“I just want to say how proud and how excited I am to be a part of this journey with you. The Mean Moose rocked it,” Jones said.
Colorado saw an increased percentage of school districts and schools with higher performance ratings from a year ago, according to the state department of education. Across the state, 71 percent of school districts earned an improvement or higher rating compared to 54 percent of school districts in 2022.
Alamosa School District received an “Accredited” rating compared to 2022 when it was “Accredited with Improvement Plan.” The highest performance framework is a school district performing with “Distinction”.
Elementary and middle school student test scores in English Language Arts and Math factor into the performance framework along with Evidence Based Reading and Writing in the Colorado PSAT and SAT tests. The state also looks at how schools are doing with sub-groups of students who are English language learners or students with disabilities.
Alamosa Elementary grades three through five improved two steps in the state’s performance framework system, moving into the green Performance category in 2023 from the orange Priority Improvement ranking. Ortega Middle, meanwhile, moved up two categories to a state “Improvement Plan” framework from a Turnaround Plan in 2022. In other words, Ortega has turned around its student academic performance.
The state education rankings can change year-to-year. For now Alamosa Schools has hit the state’s performance framework, which makes it feel like an occasion for celebration.