Camp Verde schools receive ratings<br><i>Attendance hurts middle school</i>

During the Camp Verde Unified School District's board meeting, Oct. 14, Dr. Suzi Bogum, federal projects and curriculum director, updated the school board with the Arizona Department of Education's new yearly progress labels.

Bogum said that Camp Verde Elementary School and Camp Verde High School were labeled as performing.

Bogum explained that Camp Verde Middle School received an "underperforming" label due to slightly low attendance numbers.

"The middle school has been designated an underperforming school," she said. "But this has nothing to do with academic achievement. It's because of attendance numbers."

She added that all of Camp Verde's schools met the three areas of criteria used in rating, but the middle school was just a hair short in its attendance numbers, which caused it to receive an underperforming school rating.

Camp Verde Unified School District Superintendent Ron Maughan said that the label of underperforming is because of one student probably missing a couple of days of school.

"The middle school was labeled underperforming a year ago due to insufficient progress on academic scores," he explained. "They worked hard this year and improved their academic scores, but they had an attendance issue."

The "underperforming" label came from an attendance of about 94.5 percent, 0.5 percent away from a performing school label.

"It was close. That’s probably one student missing two days," Maughan said. "Attendance is a problem with schools across the state."

Maughan said that this is a serious problem with Arizona's school and it's simply students missing classes, whether they are excused or not.

"We are looking for increased parental support in ensuring their children are at school every day that is possible," Maughan said.

Bogum explained that the ADE looks at schools in terms of achievement through the combination of AIMS and Stanford 9 test scores. Ninety-five percent of a school's student body is tested and attendance numbers.

This three-pronged criterion is how the ADE finds it ratings labels for schools.

Maughan said that 95 percent of students enrolled in school must take the AIMS and Stanford 9 tests, and the other 5 percent that is excluded is for special education students.

"This criteria levels the playing field," Maughan said. "It's a tough criteria, but it's good."

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