OPED: Meeker School District ‘accredited with distinction’ for a fourth year

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MEEKER | The Meeker School District has been Accredited with Distinction four years in a row!  The Colorado Department of Education annually releases a District Performance Framework (DPF) for each school district in the state.  The DPF contains a score derived from the tests required by the State of Colorado (CMAS, PSAT, SAT, etc…).  It also incorporates some postsecondary and workforce readiness measures.  School districts are placed in one of five “accreditation” categories, depending on their DPF score. In 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, the Meeker School District scored enough points on the DPF to be Accredited with Distinction, which is the highest possible category.  The entire DPF can be found at www.meeker.k12.co.us.

The DPF uses state assessments to measure academic success in two ways.  Academic achievement is a measurement used to gauge a student’s academic success relative to a given academic standard.  As the name would indicate, academic growth is used to gauge the amount of academic growth students make within a given school year.  The DPF also incorporates postsecondary and workforce readiness by measuring graduation rates, dropout rates, SAT scores, and matriculation rates.  Matriculation rates are a measure of the types of endeavors students pursue following graduation.  In order to be Accredited with Distinction, the school district must pass a high bar in each of these areas.

In addition to the DPF, the CDE also releases School Performance Frameworks (SPF) for each of our three schools.  Each of the three schools scored enough points on their SPF to be rated in the highest category possible.  The metrics used to calculate these points come from the same general categories as the DPF.  The SPF for the elementary and middle schools, obviously, do not include the postsecondary and workforce readiness measures.  As such, 40% of the points on their SPF come from academic achievement and the other 60% come from academic growth.  For the high school SPF, 30% of the points are from academic achievement, 40% from academic growth, and 30% from postsecondary and workforce readiness.

The purpose for which the Meeker School District exists is to help students learn.  It is critically important to clarify that the test scores are not our focus.  Student learning is our focus.  The test scores are merely evidence of the learning occurring in our classrooms.  Phenomenal opportunities for student learning also occur through our elective and extracurricular programs which extends beyond the learning measured by the DPF and SPFs.  Anyone in our community that has attended concerts, plays, or extracurricular contests can clearly see teamwork, perseverance, and self-confidence built through these activities.  The development of citizenship, creativity, and problem solving is also evident through student artwork, career and technical education events or projects, technology integration, and positive behavior and attendance recognition.   

The evidence of learning within Meeker School District RE-1 is exemplary, giving me further reason to proclaim I am proud to be a Meeker Cowboy!

By CHRIS SELLE | MSD Superintendent