Third-graders show well in state testing |

Third-graders show well in state testing

Reid Tulley
Students in Melissa Lauseng's 3rd grade class at Granby Elementary School do some free reading on Thursday, May 9, in Granby. Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi News
Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi News | Sky-Hi News

The State of Colorado’s third grade TCAP reading scores remained flat in 2013 for the third year in a row, according to preliminary TCAP results released Tuesday. Local reading scores followed much the same pattern and even improved from 2012.

East Grand School District’s third-graders tested 80.7 percent proficient and advance, compared to 75.2 percent in 2012 and 88.8 percent in 2011, and West Grand School District’s third-graders tested 89.7 percent proficient and advance, compared to 82.4 percent in 2012 and 84.8 percent in 2011.

According to the state, 73 percent of the state’s third-graders scored proficient or advanced in reading in 2013. That’s down roughly a percentage point from last year and roughly equal to scores from two years ago.

However, comparing the year-to-year results of third grade TCAP scores is difficult as each year a new batch of third-graders take the test, according to Dr. James Chamberlin, principal of Fraser Valley Elementary, whose school’s third-graders tested at 92.1 percent proficient or advanced for 2013. “It’s exciting to say nine out of 10 kids are reading at grade level before they go on to fourth grade,” Chamberlin said.

“We are very proud of the work of the students and the support of the teachers and parents,” Chamberlin said. Chamberlin went on to say he attributes the success of his students to the collaborative effort of the students, staff, and parents at the school.

Fraser Valley Elementary third-graders tested at 81.3 percent proficient and advanced in 2012 and 94.9 percent proficient and advanced in 2011.

Granby Elementary School third-graders received test scores similar to the rest of the State of Colorado, testing at 72.9 percent proficient and advanced for 2013, which is down slightly from last years test scores of 75 percent proficient or advanced. In 2011, Granby Elementary School third-graders tested at 94.4 percent proficient or advanced.

Indian Peaks Charter School does not have enough third-graders to release results of the test because it could be possible to distinguish between the students. However, Polly Gallagher, academic director for Indian Peaks Charter School, said “I will say we are very pleased with the results and how well our third-graders performed.”

West Grand scores

The West Grand School District’s third-graders who attend West Grand Elementary School received higher test scores than the state average with 89.7 percent of third-graders testing proficient or advanced, which is up from last year’s test scores of 82.4 percent proficient and advanced. In 2011 West Grand third-graders tested at 84.8 percent proficient and advanced.

“Staff from kindergarten through third grade work together to prepare kids for their third grade TCAP test,” said Kelly Martin, K-8 principal for the West Grand School District. “I think that team effort really helps.”

According to Chamberlin, elementary schools are designed to prepare children to have comprehensive reading skills by the time they move into the fourth grade, so students can utilize that skill of reading to excel in education.

The Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP) is Colorado’s standards-based assessment designed to provide a picture of student performance to schools, districts, educators, parents, and the community. The Colorado State Board of Education adopted new Colorado Academic Standards in December of 2009 and August of 2011. TCAP is designed to support school districts as they transition to the new standards from the old Colorado Model Content Standards that used the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) as its primary testing and measurement device.

TCAP tests the same content areas as the old CSAP including: math, reading, and writing in grades three through 10, and science for grades 5, 8, and 10. State law requires every student in Colorado public schools to take either the TCAP or CoAlt (alternate assessment) in the appropriate grade levels and content areas.

Reid Tulley can be reached at 970-887-3334

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