Englewood Schools wants Colorado's Finest removed from rankings

2019 numbers place district in 'priority improvement category'

Posted 9/6/19

After ratings from the Colorado Department of Education revealed disappointing results for Englewood Schools, the district is looking to remove Colorado's Finest High School of Choice, an alternative …

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Englewood Schools wants Colorado's Finest removed from rankings

2019 numbers place district in 'priority improvement category'

Posted

After ratings from the Colorado Department of Education revealed disappointing results for Englewood Schools, the district is looking to remove Colorado's Finest High School of Choice, an alternative school, from its rankings for this year.

Last month, results from the Colorado Measures of Academic Success standardized tests were released as well as results from the PSAT and the SAT. Graduation and dropout rates were also released from the Colorado Department of Education, revealing that 33.3% of Englewood high school students did not meet postsecondary and workforce readiness standards. Postsecondary and workforce readiness includes graduation rates, dropout rates, matriculation rates and mean scale scores from reading, writing and math from SAT scores.

Rankings are based on performance from the Colorado Measures of Academic Success standardized tests, the PSAT, the SAT and graduation and dropout rates.

Due to the results, Englewood Schools is in the state's “priority improvement category.” If it were to have that designation for five years in a row, then state intervention may ensue.

“(Colorado's Finest High School of Choice has) a lot of kids who have just not been successful in traditional settings. We get a lot of kids from other districts who we're glad to have,” said Englewood Schools Superintendent Wendy Rubin. “We're proud of that school, and we absolutely welcome all the kids that want to come here, but state accountability rules really don't allow a lot of room for kids who might need extra time.”

In order for Colorado's Finest High School of Choice to be removed from the district's rankings, the school's test results must meet state alternative school expectations, and there must be enough students from the school to impact the overall district's rating, according to Jessica Watson, accountability and policy manager for the Colorado Department of Education.

“We have several instances each year around this request. It's fairly common,” said Watson. She said there were six instances last year of a district requesting to remove an alternative education campus from its rankings.

Bobbie Skaggs, principal for Colorado's Finest High School of Choice, says the school tested at the highest ranking for an alternative school. Englewood High School is the only other high school in the school district, and Rubin says the number of seniors at Colorado's Finest High School of Choice is similar to the number at Englewood High School.

Englewood Schools was successful in 2017 when it asked for Colorado's Finest High School of Choice to be removed from its rankings. The deadline for submitting an appeal for rankings is Oct. 16, according to Watson. Following that, a decision process is carried out by the Colorado Department of Education.

Preliminary rankings show that four of Englewood's schools are in the highest category, two in the second highest and Englewood Middle School is at the bottom level.

Colorado's Finest High School offers students a chance to go through a program with a flexible student. Recent graduates dealt with homelessness and chronic illnesses, but many went on to attend college at Arapahoe Community College, Metropolitan State University of Denver, Red Rocks Community College and other schools.

Skaggs said the school has gone through a process every year proving to the state that it's an alternative school. The process leads to it being compared to other alternative programs and pulled out of district ratings.

“If I don't go through this process, the state would continue to include us as a traditional school. It's the reality of what the state has set up,” said Skaggs.

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