CCSD - Two years later, Best district...

CCSD - Two years later, Best district in SJC

Posted in the Aztec Forum

Since: Jul 11

Location hidden

#1 Jul 29, 2013
http://www.ccsdnm.org/school-report-cards-201...

By James Preminger, CCSD Public Relations

The Central Consolidated School District earned the highest-grade-point average in San Juan County, scoring higher overall than neighboring Farmington, Aztec, and Bloomfield school districts on the School Grade Report Cards released in July 2013 by the New Mexico Public Education Department.

"I've said ever since I've been here, and when I was a principal, the test scores have never been the students' problems. It was based on adult decisions. We can show our kids are as good as kids anywhere," said CCSD Superintendent Don Levinski, who began work on transitioning the district – by rewriting curriculum – to state Common Core standards shortly after being named superintendent in May 2011.

CCSD was also the only district in the county to receive a passing grade, based upon overall school-grade-point averages. CCSD also outperformed neighboring Gallup McKinley County School District to the south.

"Compared to where our district was two years ago, today it's like night and day," CCSD School Board President Matthew Tso said. "Things have dramatically turned around. The New Mexico Standards Based Assessment that was given this year was much harder, much more challenging, and more difficult. Our students and teachers rose to meet that challenge. Our students performed very well on that test overall."

Kirtland Central High School, led by Principal Shawna Becenti was only one of two schools in the county to earn an A. The school raised its grade from a C last year.

"It's a great feeling. Our students, teachers, and parents worked really hard," Becenti said. "You could feel the energy level at school assemblies, school presentations, and faculty meetings that we were on the road to excellence. It doesn't stop though – we have a lot more work to do.

"Common Core and our focus on college and career readiness helped," Becenti said, adding, "We also implemented an Ignition Program, which is peer-to-peer mentoring. It takes upper classmen and pairs them with freshmen. It provides our students with support – not only from their teachers but from a student mentor."

Newcomb High, under the leadership of Principal Raul Sanchez, and Shiprock High, led by Principal Rick Edwards, earned B's. Shiprock High was .7 points from an A, while Newcomb High was 1.1 points from an A. The schools, which had D grades last year, "had explosive growth," CCSD School Board President Matthew Tso said.

"The success of our school occurred only because all of the parties involved had a buy in to the things we did – the staff, the students, the administration, the chapter houses," Sanchez said. "Our model was we were not a D school. We refused to believe that."

Other top performing CCSD schools – who earned a B grade – include Grace B. Wilson Elementary, under the leadership of Principal Steve Carlson and Kirtland Elementary, led by Principal Donald Hornbecker – who was named the New Mexico 2013 National Distinguished Principal by the New Mexico Association of Elementary School Principals.

"I'm very impressed by a lot of our schools across the district, especially the school's that made massive gains in growth," Tso said. "Despite a lot of the challenges we have being a largely rural district, it shows our students are doing incredibly well. Our students and teachers and administrators did an impressive job."

Also earning B grades were Nizhoni Elementary, led by Principal Patricia Marquez; and Ojo Amarillo Elementary, led by Principal Abena McNeely.

Nizhoni Elementary showed strong growth by raising its letter grade from an F to a B in one year; while Ojo Amarillo Elementary went from a D to a B in one year, Levinski said.

Since: Jul 11

Location hidden

#2 Jul 29, 2013
Continued

"I'm so proud of my students and my teachers who work so hard," Marquez said. "The state and district initiatives provided us with the necessary tools to meet our goals – Common Core implementation, moving toward quarterly district assessments, and assessments teachers do on the spot to let students know where they are at."

The district has rewritten curriculum in reading, math, science, and social studies to match state Common Core state standards. CCSD also tests students using its own quarterly assessments that are designed to measure both proficiency and growth while exceeding the rigor of the state's annual Standards Based Assessment.

"The real heroes are all the teachers who worked on curriculum – the teachers we pulled out of the classrooms to write Common Core curriculum based upon deep alignment with state Common Core standards," Levinski said. "It increased the rigor of the curriculum, and led to kids thinking at a higher level. From Assistant Superintendent Pandora Mike all the way through to our teachers at our schools – they are the real heroes."

Since: Jul 11

Location hidden

#3 Jul 29, 2013
From the CCSD website.

It is a little bit biased seeing as how it is the districts press release.

But the facts and numbers speak for themselves. Change is what was needed. It looks like the administration, teachers and support staff are much more than minimally qualified.
father of two

Albuquerque, NM

#5 Jul 30, 2013
Subutai wrote:
From the CCSD website.
It is a little bit biased seeing as how it is the districts press release.
But the facts and numbers speak for themselves. Change is what was needed. It looks like the administration, teachers and support staff are much more than minimally qualified.
Since you are so enamored with numbers it may be good to check the number of vacancies at CCSD. As of today, and a week before the beginning of a new year, there are 83 openings, and close to 60 are teaching positions. Other districts in the area have, respectively, 26, 3, and 4 openings at this point. Interestingly enough all these employees running away from central don't seem to want to be part of this great success. These numbers also speak for themselves. So please, make sure you don't break your hand patting yourself and your cronies on the back.
East Coast Buzzard

United States

#6 Jul 30, 2013
If Raul Sanchez was so happy at Newcomb High, why did he take a principal position with the Bloomfield school district?

Since: Jul 11

Location hidden

#7 Jul 30, 2013
father of two wrote:
<quoted text>
Since you are so enamored with numbers it may be good to check the number of vacancies at CCSD. As of today, and a week before the beginning of a new year, there are 83 openings, and close to 60 are teaching positions. Other districts in the area have, respectively, 26, 3, and 4 openings at this point. Interestingly enough all these employees running away from central don't seem to want to be part of this great success. These numbers also speak for themselves. So please, make sure you don't break your hand patting yourself and your cronies on the back.
I would have to agree with you on the turnover. If I was a teacher or similar professional why would I want to work in an environment where the two main community groups that make up the district are so hell bent on ruining public education. Where the longest standing board member is a HS dropout male hairdresser who writes on a 5th grade level.

I think the current administration is the last try at sanity, and the PED knows it. When they are either removed by the board, or they throw up their hands and move on is when CCSD will finally come crashing down, and the PED takes over.

The morality, and goodness of a community is how they take care of the "least among them" in this case it is the children of CCSD. I feel Kirtland and its leadership has failed.
Way2GO CCSD

United States

#8 Jul 30, 2013
father of two wrote:
<quoted text>
Since you are so enamored with numbers it may be good to check the number of vacancies at CCSD. As of today, and a week before the beginning of a new year, there are 83 openings, and close to 60 are teaching positions. Other districts in the area have, respectively, 26, 3, and 4 openings at this point. Interestingly enough all these employees running away from central don't seem to want to be part of this great success. These numbers also speak for themselves. So please, make sure you don't break your hand patting yourself and your cronies on the back.
Looks like the district is clearing out all the dead weight and hiring new blood. Farmington and the other districts can take the flotsam in CCSD. In fact, a quite a few of CCSD's ex-teachers left CCSD and look what they did to Farmington's, Bloomfield's, and Aztec's schools. By all means, take them.
Way2GO CCSD

United States

#9 Jul 30, 2013
Subutai wrote:
<quoted text>
I would have to agree with you on the turnover. If I was a teacher or similar professional why would I want to work in an environment where the two main community groups that make up the district are so hell bent on ruining public education. Where the longest standing board member is a HS dropout male hairdresser who writes on a 5th grade level.
I think the current administration is the last try at sanity, and the PED knows it. When they are either removed by the board, or they throw up their hands and move on is when CCSD will finally come crashing down, and the PED takes over.
The morality, and goodness of a community is how they take care of the "least among them" in this case it is the children of CCSD. I feel Kirtland and its leadership has failed.
Looks like the current CCSD administration's work paid off and Kirtland property values will rise. the incompetence of Janel Ryan, John Razor, and Kirk Carpenter will hurt property values and cause it to be a sellers market. Good job Levinski, Tso, and the CCSD administration... and et teachers and students. the Mnnings and Children First failed to destroy the district. Interestingly enough, Skandera was singing CCSD's praises and the Governor wants to take a look at the districts success.

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