According to Nevada School Performance Framework results released Friday morning, all elementary schools in the Carson City School District received three stars, while the secondary schools earned four. Pioneer, the district’s alternative high school, was awarded two stars. A total of five stars is possible.
Carson High and Eagle Valley Middle schools improved from three to four stars, while Empire and Fremont elementary schools increased to three stars from two the previous year.
“Our parents should recognize the growth we’ve had this year,” said Superintendent Richard Stokes. “Our staff should celebrate that some really great things are happening.”
While first glance at the assessment scores shows Carson City schools are all performing at a similar level, officials point out there is a wide range of scores among the star designations.
“When you look at any of the individual schools that have three to four stars or stayed the same, there could be 10 points difference or two points difference that separates a star going up or down,” said school board trustee Candace Stowell. “It would be nice to look at the actual scores.”
In its third year, the performance framework, which was created by the Nevada Department of Education to replace No Child Left Behind, is a system of assessing student achievement.
The assessment calculates an index score based on test results, growth over previous years, improvement among subgroups — special education, English-language learners and low socioeconomic status — and attendance. At the high school level, college and career readiness and graduation rates are also factored in.
The index score determines the number of stars a school is assigned. The widest range, between 25 and 75 percent, is assigned three stars. The top 5 percent of schools receive five stars and the bottom 5 percent are assigned a single star.
Carson City’s charter schools are also part of the state’s ranking system. Carson Montessori Elementary School received four stars, down from last year’s five. Silver State Charter High School received two stars and the middle school earned one.
Fremont Elementary School raised its index score to 56 from 46.33 last year, moving up from two stars to three.
Principal Casey Gilles said the school has implemented a variety of programs to increase student achievement, including Rising Star, in which students are assessed weekly and those falling behind are assigned a mentor.
“Last year was our first year doing it, and we will refine it this year,” she said. “We are happy with our rating. Of course, we want a higher proficiency. We want more growth. But we will be celebrating.”