Middle schools rise, elementaries dip in Nevada star ratings

New star ratings, a quick indicator of how Nevada schools are performing, show a higher percentage of middle schools meeting standards but a decline among elementary schools.

High schools, which received star ratings for the first time in five years, performed better than either of the other groups by percentage in the ratings for the 2017-18 school year. The state released the ratings Friday.

Despite what appeared to be mixed results, Steve Canavero, the state superintendent of public instruction, said he was encouraged by the numbers, adding that in his 11 years working for the state, he has never seen such improvement in a single year.

“These (results) are massively positive, for me, confirming that we can do it,” he said.

Clark County Superintendent Jesus Jara said that the district’s school ratings provide a useful data point for parents and schools and that student achievement is a priority of the School Board.

“I’m here today to tell you that we all believe our team will make some great strides for our children. We know where we can start our work for academic success,” he said. “In all, I think — I know — we have a lot to be proud of.”

The state ranked elementary and middle schools last year for the first time in several years, a gap attributable to a testing glitch and a reworking of the performance measurements. After spending more time deliberating over the best way to rate high schools, the state has resumed rating those schools.

Schools are rated between one and five stars under the system, with five stars being the best ranking. The state uses several measures blended together to determine the ratings but places emphasis on students showing continuing improvement.

With playing a role as an understandable piece of information for the public, star ratings determine what of additional local, state and federal support schools are eligible to receive.

Star ratings

Statewide, 43.7 percent — or 190 of 435 elementary schools — in the state were performing below state standards last year, meaning they received one or two stars. That was an increase of 3.6 percentage points from the previous year.

In middle schools, 66 of 201 schools, or 32.8 percent, were below state standards. That is a decrease of less than 1 percentage point.

The state assessed 32 more elementary schools and 14 more middle schools in 2017 than in 2018, and direct numerical comparisons are not valid. At the high school level, 29 of 169 high schools, or 17.2 percent, were below standards.

A total of 127 schools statewide did not receive star ratings. Those are schools that are small and rural and can’t be measured to the same standards as other schools or are schools designed to serve students with severe disabilities.

Clark County’s result largely mirrored those of the state. At the elementary level, 45.5 percent — or 106 of 233 elementary schools —in the district were performing below state standards.

In Clark County middle schools, 39 percent — or 32 of 82 — were below state standards.

At the high school level, nearly 20 percent — 15 of 76 — were below standards.

The state also identified 112 “targeted support and improvement schools,” as required by federal guidelines. The targeted schools have two years of data showing wide achievement gaps between their highest-performing and lowest-performing subgroups of students.

Seventy-five of the schools on the list are in Clark County. High schools were not eligible for inclusion because the designation requires two years of data.

Because of the designation, 17 schools statewide had their star ratings “capped” at 3 stars, including 12 Clark County middle schools.

Strategic improvements

There were some bright spots in Clark County’s data.

In a one-year span, Guy Elementary in North Las Vegas jumped from two stars to four stars. On Friday, Clark County leaders gathered inside Debby Schmitt’s kindergarten class to celebrate the school’s achievements.

Principal Wendy Garrett attributed the two-star movement to two big factors: a change in culture and a focus on data.

Every teacher and every student took ownership of their data during the 2017-18 school year, and Garrett said she promoted a climate that pushed all students to achieve.

“All students, it doesn’t matter who they are, can and will achieve as a result of high expectations,” she said.

At the high school level, Sunrise Mountain Principal Julia Llapur also talked about a culture change. Her school earned a three-star rating from the state, but Llapur was particularly pleased with changes in the school’s graduation rate.

Graduation numbers used in the state ratings lag a year behind the rest of data used in the star ratings, but they showed 92 percent of Llapur’s students graduated in the 2016-17 school year.

That is a far cry the 47 percent who graduated in from 2012-13, when Llapur was an assistant principal at the school. A new principal was brought in when the school went through the school district’s “turnaround” process, and Llapur became the principal in 2015-16.

Llapur said one of her big focuses is reducing absenteeism rates, and she acknowledged she has a way to go. The state data showed that 43 percent of students missed 18 or more days of school last year, compared with 28 percent of students districtwide.

On a Saturday last month, Llapur and her staff were on the march to combat that problem. They made home visits to students who already had missed a few days of school, talking to them and their families face-to-face, encouraging them to come to school.

“Our biggest struggle, I’ll tell you right now, is attendance. You may think it’s in our control, but it really isn’t,” she said. “We’re really focusing our efforts on that.”

Although Llapur said she’s on top of her school’s data and the rating wasn’t a surprise, she said she was glad the state had resumed issuing them for high schools.

It helps her show those in the community who have a poor perception of the school that things are moving in the right direction.

“That’s where it matters to me, that it’s out in the public and that people can see that our kids are great and they’re performing and they’re deserving and they’re just as smart as other kids,” she said.

Contact Meghin Delaney at 702-383-0281 or mdelaney @reviewjournal.com. Follow @MeghinDelaney on Twitter.

VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System hosts Veterans Day Car Show and BBQ
The 4th Annual Veterans Day Car Show and BBQ is held in celebration of Veterans Day at the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System Medical Center in North Las Vegas, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Wildfires in Southern California
Wildfires hit Ventura County, Calif., on Nov. 9, 2018. (Richard Brian/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dedication of Nevada's Battle Born memorial
The state of Nevada on Friday dedicated its Battle Born memorial honoring 895 state residents who have died in America’s wars.
Las Vegas police and Sunrise Children's Hospital hope to prevent infant deaths
The Metropolitan Police Department and Sunrise Children's Hospital held a press conference to get the message out on preventable infant deaths attributed to "co-sleeping" and other unsafe sleeping habits. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
No serious injuries after car hits tree in south Las Vegas
One person reported minor injuries but wasn’t hospitalized after a Wednesday morning crash in the south valley.
Nellis Air Force Base keeps airmen fed
Nellis Air Force Bass airmen have delicious and healthy food items, and a variety of dining facilities to choose from. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Suspicious package found at central Las Vegas post office
Las Vegas police determined that a suspicious package found Monday morning at a central valley post office was not a threat.
Suspicious package found at central Las Vegas post office
Police evacuated the area around the Garside Station post office early Monday morning near Oakey and Decatur boulevards.
With husband's passing, family in limbo for workers' comp claim
Meredith Tracy's husand, Russell Tracy, died more than a year ago on his first day working for a new company when he fell 22 feet into a manhole that was not properly safeguarded. His employer was fined $82,000 in penalties for unsafe practices, but the company has denied her workers' compensation claim, leaving her with no compensation since the death. Rachel Aston Las Vegas Review-Journal @rookie__rae
With husband's passing, family in limbo for workers' comp claim
Meredith Tracy's husand, Russell Tracy, died more than a year ago on his first day working for a new company when he fell 22 feet into a manhole that was not properly safeguarded. His employer was fined $82,000 in penalties for unsafe practices, but the company has denied her workers' compensation claim, leaving her with no compensation since the death. Rachel Aston Las Vegas Review-Journal @rookie__rae
Las Vegas family shares flu warning
Carlo and Brenda Occhipinti lost their son, Carlo Jr., or “Junior,” to the flu last year.
Author Randall Cannon shares an anecdote about Stadust Raceway
Author Randall Cannon shares an anecdote about Dan Blocker, who played Hoss Cartwright on the TV show "Bonanza," and the actor's passion for auto racing at Stardust International Raceway in Las Vegas during the 1960s. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal.)
Project Neon 85 percent complete
On Wednesday morning Oct. 31, Interstate 15 northbound lane restrictions were removed opening up Exit 41 to Charleston Blvd. On Thursday Nov. 1, Interstate 15 southbound lane restrictions were removed. The new southbound off-ramp to Sahara Ave. and Highland Dr. also opened Thursday, November 1. With Project Neon 85% finished the flow of traffic on Interstate 15 has substantially diminished. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Girl killed after jumping from bridge onto 215 Beltway in Henderson
Eastbound lanes of the 215 Beltway are shut down by the Nevada Highway Patrol after a female juvenile jumped from the 215 overpass at Stephanie and was struck by a FedEx tractor trailer. Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal @Vegas88s
Kristallnacht story
An interview with 94-year-old Holocaust survivor Alexander Kuechel who survived seven concentration camps and didn’t leave Germany until after World War II was over. (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
1 dead in central Las Vegas crash
An early Wednesday morning crash left at least one person dead and another injured. The crash was reported just around 3 a.m. at the intersection of Flamingo Road and Swenson Street. At least two vehicles were involved in the crash, one of which caught fire. Debris was scattered across the intersection as police combed the area as they investigated the scene. Flamingo is blocked in both directions between Swenson and Cambridge Street. Northbound Swenson is blocked at the intersection.
Richard Knoeppel named the 2018 Nevada Teacher of the Year
Richard Knoeppel, an architecture design instructor at the Advanced technologies Academy, named the 2018 Nevada Teacher of the Year on Monday, Oct. 29, 2018. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Mojave Poppy Bees
(Zach Portman/University of Minnesota Department of Entomology) Male Mojave poppy bees exhibit territorial fighting behavior. The Center for Biological Diversity wants the bee, found only in Clark County, to be added to the endangered species list.
Clark County Schools announce random searches
Clark County School District middle and high school students will be subject to random searches for weapons under a new initiative to combat the wave of guns found on campus. (Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ron Jeremy and Heidi Fleiss React to Dennis Hof's Death
Ron Jeremy and Heidi Fleiss speak about their friend and prominent brothel owner Dennis Hof's death at Dennis Hof's Love Ranch. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada brothel owner Dennis Hof has died
Nevada brothel owner and Republican candidate for Nevada State Assembly District 36, Dennis Hof has died. He was 72. Nye County Sherriff's office confirmed. Hof owned Love Ranch brothel, located in Crystal, Nevada.
Las Vegas police investigate suspicious package at shopping center
Las Vegas police evacuated a southeast valley shopping center at Flamingo and Sandhill roads early Tuesday morning while they investigated reports of a suspicious package. (Max Michor/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Las Vegas Metro hosts the K-9 Trials
The Las Vegas Metro K-9 Trials returns to the Orleans Arena to benefit the Friends For Las Vegas Police K-9 group.
Kingman residents love their little town
Residents of Kingman, Ariz. talk about how they ended up living in the Route 66 town, and what they love about their quiet community. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Service at Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery
Twelve unclaimed veterans are honored at Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City in Oct. 9, 2018. (Briana Erickson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas house prices reach highest level in 11 years
Las Vegas house prices are rising But so is the amount of available homes on the market Still, properties priced below $300,000 are selling fast And September was the first time since June 2007 that the median house price reached the $300,000 mark Las Vegas home prices have been rising at one of the fastest rates in the country over the past year Recent data show the market is now less affordable than the national average
National Night Out
About 100 Summerlin residents gathered at Park Centre Dr. in Summerlin on Tuesday for National Night Out. Lt. Joshua Bitsko with Las Vegas Metro, played with 3-year-old David who was dressed as a police officer. Face painting, fire truck tours and more kept kids busy as parents roamed behind them. (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Rural homeless issue comes to a head in Pahrump
On Sept. 12, Pahrump sheriff deputies told residents of a homeless encampment on private property that they had 15 minutes to vacate and grab their belongings. That decision might face some legal consequences. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remembrance blood drive on October 1
A blood drive was held at the Las Vegas Convention Center on the one year anniversary of the Oct. 1 shooting. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remembrance Lights memorial unveiled at St. Rose hospital
A dedication ceremony was held at St. Rose to unveil a memorial and to read the names of those who died on October 1, a year ago. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like