Arizona education department gives Cs and Ds grades for Apache Junction schools

The Arizona Department of Education has notified Apache Junction Unified School District that its schools received C and D grades for academic growth; proficiency on English language arts, math and science; and other measurements.

AJUSD schools grades are:

  • D, Apache Junction High School, 2525 S. Ironwood Drive in Apache Junction.
  • D, Desert Vista Elementary School, 3701 E Broadway Ave. in Apache Junction.
  • D, Four Peaks Elementary School, 1785 N Idaho Road in Apache Junction.
  • C, Peralta Trail Elementary School, 10965 E. Peralta Road in Gold Canyon.
  • C, Cactus Canyon Junior High School, 801 W. Southern Ave. in Apache Junction.

A spreadhseet from https://azsbe.az.gov/f-school-letter-grades shows school name, district, school ID, county, N or Y if a charter school, the letter grade and if it is for K-8 or 9-12 grades.

Dr. Krista Anderson

“Even before the letter grades were released we knew we had important work to do,” Dr. Krista Anderson, AJUSD superintendent, said in a letter to parents.

“Over the summer we met with school principals and asked for a comprehensive student improvement plan, and we met again with principals after the first quarter of the 2018-19 school year for an update,” she said.

“As a district we are committed to deliver results-oriented actions that will focus on strengthening students’ core skills, as well as providing professional growth opportunities for teachers,” Dr. Anderson said.

Arizona Revised Statutes § 15-241 requires the state education department to develop an annual achievement profile for every public school in the state based on an A through F scale, according to azsbe.az.gov/f-school-letter-grades.

A is the highest – excellent; and F is the lowest – failing.

“The system measures year to year student academic growth, proficiency on English language arts, math and science, the proficiency and academic growth of English language learners, indicators that an elementary student is ready for success in high school and that high school students are ready to succeed in a career or higher education and high school graduation rates,” according to the website.

“The state describes a C grade as adequate performance but needs improvement on some indicators including proficiency, growth or graduation rate,” Dr. Anderson said in the letter to parents.

“A designation of D is described as minimally performing or inadequate performance in proficiency growth and/or four-year graduation rate relative to the state average,” she said.

AJUSD administrators will present the letter-grade report and a plan to improve student learning at the Oct. 23 governing board meeting. It begins at 6 p.m. and is to be held in the district office, 1575 W. Southern Ave.

Some of the topics, according to the letter to parents, include a plan to:

  • Ensure that instruction includes time to provide interventions to students to support their learning of foundation skills in reading, math and writing.
  • Emphasize professional development for teachers that will support their expertise in content areas and allow time for them to work collaboratively on standards that they are required to teach.
  • Review daily schedules to maximize learning time throughout the school day for students.

“The task at hand will not be easy, but we are up to the challenge,” Dr. Anderson said in the letter.

“We ask for your continued support as we work hard to raise the bar on student learning and help our students achieve their highest potential,” she said.

The Apache Junction Independent is mailed each month to 35,000 homes.

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