Former Big Park School receives Verde Valley’s only ‘A’ in state’s achievement profile

9 of 20 Verde valley schools receive C

VERDE VALLEY – Because of declining enrollment, the Sedona-Oak Creek School Board voted in May to close Big Park Community School at the end of the 2017-2018 school year.

On Friday, the Arizona State Board of Education published its annual achievement profile – also known as A-to-F grades.

Big Park was the only Verde Valley school to receive an A.

According to Director of Operational Services Jennifer Chilton, Sedona-Oak Creek is “immensely proud of our Big Park results and look forward to the growth promised by combined instructional talent at the elementary level.”

By combined instruction, Chilton means that students who attended Big Park a year ago, by and large, have transferred to West Sedona School.

Chilton said that Sedona-Oak Creek “always appreciate[s] and analyze[s] data, but with the caution resultant from the understanding that measuring student achievement is complex, high stakes testing also correlates to variables beyond a school’s control, and simplistic understanding is likely misunderstanding.

“That aside, we appreciate state efforts at including multiple measures, growth, and the special efforts required for a broad range of student needs,” Chilton said.

Of the 19 other Verde Valley/Sedona public and charter schools measured by the State Board of Education, four other schools – Camp Verde American Heritage Academy, Clarkdale-Jerome, Cornville’s Desert Star Community, and Sedona Charter – received a B.

C’s were handed out to Camp Verde Elementary, Camp Verde Middle, Camp Verde High, Cottonwood Middle, Cottonwood’s Mountain View Preparatory, Cornville’s Oak Creek, Sedona Red Rock Junior High and Senior High, Verde Valley Montessori and West Sedona.

Cottonwood’s American Heritage Academy, Beaver Creek Elementary, Cottonwood Elementary and Mingus Union High all received a D.

South Verde Technology Magnet received an F. Red Rock Academy received an NR, which according to the Arizona State Board of Education’s website means that the school was not rated “due to insufficient data, primarily because the school did not have a sufficient number of students.”

According to the website, the Arizona State Board of Education measures more than 1,700 public and charter schools based on “year-to-year student academic growth, proficiency on English language arts, math and science, the proficiency and academic growth of English language learners, indicators that an elementary student is ready for success in high school and that high school students are ready to succeed in a career or higher education and high school graduation rates.”

The profile “complies with state statute and the federal Every Student Succeeds Act while recognizing the opportunity to measure the quality of a school and its effectiveness across a broader range of measures than in the past,” the website stated.”


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dedewalker 5 months, 1 week ago

I hope that someone will “fact check” this statement from Ms. Chilton as reported in the article.

“...students who attended Big Park a year ago, by and large, have transferred to West Sedona School.”

I’m sure she wants to put a positive twist to the news, but it shouldn’t take much effort to show that only about 30 or so of Big Park’s students actually transferred to West Sedona Elementary. I think it was your paper that previously reported a majority are now attending Oak Creek Elementary with others enrolled at other Verde Valley schools.

Diane Walker Village of Oak Creek Substitute teacher/Volunteer