New school grading system results released - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Community Focus

New school grading system results released

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Posted: Sunday, August 5, 2012 10:25 am | Updated: 8:14 am, Mon Aug 6, 2012.

Report cards came in for Arizona schools this week and schools and school districts in Ahwatukee Foothills fared well in the first official year of the new grading system.

The new system gives schools and districts a letter grade (A-F) based on AIMS performance results and how much the students improved from the previous year.

Concerning the Kyrene middle schools in Ahwatukee Foothills, Altadeña received an ‘A,’ and Centennial and Akimel A-al received a ‘B’. Kyrene elementary schools Esperanza, Milenio, Monte Vista, Cerritos and Sierra received an ‘A’ and Lomas, Colina and Lagos received a ‘B.’ Horizon Community Learning Center received an ‘A,’ an improvement from being classified as a ‘B’ last year.

In terms of the local high schools, Desert Vista received an ‘A’ and Mountain Pointe received a ‘B’.

Grades are determined by a point system. The points are derived from a formula used by the Arizona Department of Education. What they call academic growth — how much a student improves from one year to the next — is given a point total out of 100, with the bottom 25 percent of student performers weighted twice. Academic outcomes — based on the percentage of students passing AIMS — is also scored out of 100 points. If a school receives between 140 and 200 points, it receives an ‘A;’ between 120 and 139 points qualifies as a ‘B;’ 100 to 119 is a ‘C;’ and if a school scores below 100, it receives a ‘D’. A school only receives an ‘F’ if it classifies as a ‘D’ three years in a row.

Mountain Pointe received a total of 134 points and Desert Vista scored 166 points.

“It’s an overall evaluation of student performance,” said Lorah Neville, executive director of curriculum and learning services for Kyrene. “Now in its second year, we can begin to see some patterns in student achievement.”

The A-F system was first used last year, but has not been official until now. The results were released to the public on Thursday.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or troemhild@ahwatukee.com

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