Summit School District’s scores slip, but remain ahead of state for academic growth

The Summit School District is still ahead of the state curve, but test scores fell slightly from the prior academic year, according to data released Thursday by the Colorado Department of Education.

The Colorado Measures of Academic Success, or CMAS, assessment results from the state’s 178 school districts indicate statewide gains compared to last year. That spans nearly every grade level in English language arts, mathematics and science. The local public school system can say that of just four of 18 testing areas, though its scores remain ahead — in several cases notably so — of state averages in all but three categories.

“We do see that we are typically almost across the board scoring above the state,” said Kerry Buhler, superintendent of the Summit School District. “However, we know that these scores are something that we would want to improve upon, and that’s really our work.”

Math continues to be a particular area where the district desires improvement, and one articulated in its overall strategic plan. Roughly 40 percent of Summit fifth-graders met or exceeded expectations in the concentration, for example, and less than 27 percent of Summit sixth-graders did the same.

That disparity of scores in making the transition from the elementary schools to middle school, and then middle to high school, is of specific emphasis for district administration.

“That’s something we continue to look at — what is causing that, and what can we do to improve it?” said Bethany Massey, the district’s director of assessment and technology.

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To try and solve the math equation, the district recently elevated four teachers to new positions. Their primary focus will be helping get students get over their struggles with arithmetic, as well as coaching teachers up through additional professional development and in-class support.

Former Summit Middle School seventh-grade math teachers Alisha Delamarian and Lana McLaughlin will…

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