UPDATE: State releases A-F school site scores
Appeals must be filed by Friday, Nov. 15
In the Sunday, Nov. 10 story “state releases A-F school site scores,” the accompanying chart incorrectly listed Mountain View Preparatory’s 2017-2018 score as a C and Cottonwood Community School’s 2017-2018 score as a D.
After successful appeal, Mountain View Preparatory received a B in 2017-2018. In 2017-2018, Cottonwood Community School was known as Cottonwood Middle School. Cottonwood Middle School received a C in 2017-2018.
Cottonwood Community School “did not even exist in the spring of 2018 to receive a D letter grade,” said Matt Schumacher, principal at Cottonwood Community School. “Cottonwood Community School is currently in its second year of operation, and we received no letter grade for the one and only state assessment we ever took in spring 2019.”
In 2017-2018, Schumacher was principal at Cottonwood Middle School.
Both the story and the chart have been corrected.
VERDE VALLEY — Education is about providing opportunities for children. Earning a good grade is only one of those opportunities.
That’s what Steve King, Cottonwood-Oak Creek Superintendent said about the Arizona Department of Education’s recent release of its preliminary statewide A-to-F accountability scores for 2018-19.
Schools can appeal their grades until Nov. 15, according to the Arizona Department of Education website, azsbe.az.gov/f-school-letter-grades. Dec. 9-11, the state’s A-F Appeals Committee will review appeals.
“The state’s grading system is extremely limited in scope,” King said Thursday. “It’s a narrow definition and it does not encompass all the attributes and challenges of any school.”
A year ago, Cottonwood-Oak Creek realigned three of its schools into two K-8 schools. Because of that realignment, the Arizona Department of Education did not evaluate two of Cottonwood-Oak Creek’s four schools in its recently-released A-to-F accountability standards.
This year, Cottonwood’s Mountain View Preparatory received a B, while Cornville’s Oak Creek School received a C.
Of the 16 public and charter schools in the Verde Valley and Sedona, only two received an A: charter schools Sedona Charter and Verde Valley Montessori. A year ago, Sedona Charter received a B, Verde Valley Montessori a year ago was a C school.
One school, South Verde Technology Magnet, received an F.
In between, four schools this year received a B, eight a C, and one a D.
Some schools saw improvement from last year, such as Beaver Creek, which improved its mark to a C from last year’s D.
Though the school’s administration is “excited that we are making progress in the eyes of the state accountability representatives,” Principal Katrina Sacco said that Beaver Creek does “not typically measure our success based on the letter grade system.”
“We push our students to be well rounded people, and [we] have high academic expectations for them every day,” Sacco said.
Camp Verde High School improved from C to B, American Heritage Cottonwood improved from a D to a B, and Mingus Union from D in 2017-18 to this year’s C.
Despite the improved score, Mingus Union may appeal its 2018-19 grade, Mingus Union Superintendent Mike Westcott said Thursday.
“We hope that we can get that grade bumped up into the B area,” Westcott said. “Even then, we’re not satisfied with a B.”
Two schools — American Heritage Camp Verde and Desert Star Community — stepped backward from a year ago. Camp Verde American Heritage went from a B to a C; Desert Star from a B to a D.
A year ago, Clarkdale-Jerome successfully appealed a B score, as it was later changed to an A. This year, the school received a B, and has no plans to appeal, Superintendent Danny Brown said.
“Our overall proficiency score increased, but where we fell short was our growth scores, which account for 50 percent,” Brown said. “As we delve into the details, we will look to see how close students are moving up to the next level proficiency level. We want to ensure all students see improvements in the future.”
Brown also said that Clarkdale-Jerome also measures “relationships that our faculty and staff build and nurture with our students.”
“The CJSD faculty and staff provide a well-rounded education that includes many hands-on experiences and field trips that cannot be measured with an assessment,” Brown said. “I would put my faculty and staff up against anybody in the state of Arizona and I am proud to be a part of this district.”
Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42
Verde Valley/Sedona school report cards for 2018-19
Beaver Creek School District
Beaver Creek School, C
Camp Verde Unified School District
Camp Verde Elementary School, C
Camp Verde Middle School, C
Camp Verde High School, B
South Verde Technology Magnet, F
Clarkdale-Jerome School District
Clarkdale-Jerome School, B
Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District
Cottonwood Community School (did not receive grade)
Dr. Daniel Bright School (did not receive grade)
Mountain View Preparatory, B
Oak Creek School, C
Mingus Union High School District
Mingus Union High School, C
Sedona-Oak Creek School District
Sedona Red Rock Junior/Senior High School, C
West Sedona Elementary School, C
Sedona/Verde Valley charter schools
American Heritage Camp Verde, C
American Heritage Cottonwood, B
Desert Star Community School, D
Sedona Charter School, A
Verde Valley Montessori School, A