Telluride School District highly rated again
State to announce distinctions, honors next month
- By JUSTIN CRIADO, Senior Staff Writer
The Telluride Daily Planet has just released an article stating that the Telluride School District has been recognized again this year as one of the very best in the State of Colorado, as according to Superintendent Michael Gass. The Colorado Department of Education has recently released the preliminary 2017 district and school performance frameworks which illustrate the academic achievements, academic growth, and the post-secondary and work-force readiness. According to the official website of the State of Colorado (cde.state.co.us), the performance rankings that they have recently released “hold districts and schools accountable for performance on the same, single set of indicators and measures.”
There are five distinctions that the performance framework assigns all the school districts which are, Accredited with Distinction, Accredited, Accredited with Improvement Plan, Accredited with Priority Improvement Plan and Accredited with Turnaround Plan. The Telluride School District has received the Accredited with Distinction honors ever since.
Gass says that, “We’ve always been Accredited with Distinction,” and “…Long story short, you have a total points available, so when you rack and stack those, Telluride School District actually comes out as one of the best school districts in the state in those performance plan frameworks in the state rankings.”
Another honor that the State of Colorado hands out is the John Irwin Schools of Excellence Awards, which “are given to schools that demonstrate exceptional academic achievement over time,” according to the official award criteria.
Gass says, “We have the top-performing middle school. We have a Top 30 high school.” According to the results of the state standardized tests, Grades 3-9 have been performing well in English, language arts and math categories. The scores for the state’s seventh-grade English and language arts showed “exceptional performance and growth”, which makes it the second year in a row.
Another school-district ranking website called Niche, has ranked the Telluride School District as the 9th-best in the State of Colorado, with an overall grade of A- which is according to “statistics and millions of opinions from students and parents.” The school district has an average SAT score of 1260 and an average ACT score of 30, and an 85% average graduation rate.
In another article by the U.S. News & World Report, they left the Telluride School District unranked in a report recently released this year. The report was based on the scores of the standardized tests of 2016. The reason was due to a “large opt out” because 26 students were not able to take the state tests, but instead took Advanced Placements tests, which were given the same week. Because of this, the school has decided to change the test schedules so these tests will not be held during the same time. There have been more students that are currently enrolled in Advanced Placement classes, regardless of demographics according to Gass.
The Principal of Telluride Middle and High School, Sara Kimble said that the programs such as Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID) have been able to help certain students to raise their GPAs. An AVID presentation has recently shown that the average GPA of students in the program were able to rise from 1.96 during the spring semester of 2016 up to 2.65 in the winter semester of 2017.
But even though rankings and grades may be a good measurement of intelligence, there are still other more important facts that the district looks at.
While rankings and numbers are nice, Kimble said there are other measurement factors the district looks at. “The true test is the students’ performance every day, and their performance and success when they leave here” according to Principal Kimble, and quite frankly, we agree with her.
After growing up surfing in Florida, Mike Shimkonis decided to give higher ground a try and settled in Colorado over 25 years ago, first in Vail, then moving to Telluride in 1993. Prior to working with Telluride Properties, he was a senior sales and marketing executive for the Vail and Telluride ski companies.