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YUHSD releases school letter grades, following ADE announcement

The Arizona Department of Education (ADE), at the direction of the State Board of Education, today announced its A-F School Accountability grades for schools across the state, including Yuma Union High School District. 

The grades for YUHSD campuses are as follows:

Cibola High School                 B
Gila Ridge High School           B
Kofa High School                   C
San Luis High School             C
Vista High School                  C
Yuma High School                 C

“The A-F accountability system is one of many tools we have access to in order to make sure our campuses are providing the most effective classroom experience for our students,” YUHSD Superintendent Gina Thompson said. “The grades consist of five parts, and are informative for the continued improvement of our schools. We are incredibly proud of our district-wide graduation rate, and at how hard our schools have worked to show growth in many other areas that are reflected in our scores. While the grades certainly do not solely define our schools, having two schools improve by a full grade and others trending in the right direction, is very positive. Of course, it in no way means our work is done.”

Overall, 148 high schools in the state received a ‘B’ or ‘C’ grade. Both Gila Ridge and San Luis improved their grade for the 2018-2019 school year by a full letter from a year ago.

“I’m so proud of those schools that worked hard and increased their letter grade,” said Board of Education President Luke Narducci. “The point of the A-F letter grade system is to encourage continual improvement, and that should be celebrated. Thank you educators for your hard work and dedication to Arizona’s students.”

YUHSD Data Associate Jesus Garcia worked with various formulas to project the grades for all six district principals over the last few weeks, giving them a snapshot of what to expect when ADE formally made their announcement and what areas they can target for continued improvement.

According to ADE, A-F letter grades are based on student academic growth from year to year, scores on the statewide assessment (or, new for the 2018-2019 school year, ACT or SAT scores for the 55 high schools that chose that option as their assessment), high school graduation rates and indicators that a student is ready for success at the next level.

Developed by a broad cross-section of stakeholders, the letter grades give school leaders a snapshot of where they are doing well and where they need to improve. It creates an incentive for the constant improvement that parents, taxpayers and state leaders expect from our public schools.

Schools can appeal their letter grade until Nov. 15, with grades expected to be finalized and made public by ADE on Dec. 13.

To assist with additional questions, the State Board of Education provided the following Frequently Asked Questions document on its website: https://azsbe.az.gov/sites/default/files/media/FAQs.pdf   

To learn more about YUHSD schools, the District welcomes community members to sign up for a patron tour online (http://bit.ly/YUHSDTours) and select the campus of their choice.

Eric Patten
epatten@yumaunion.org