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.

ad-high_impact_4
News
Mount Charleston Gets Heavy Snow, Fog
Mount Charleston saw heavy snow today, and fog in lower elevations as a cold front swept across the Las Vegas Valley. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Krystal Whipple arrested in Arizona
Krystal Whipple, charged in the killing of a Las Vegas nail salon manager over a $35 manicure, is expected to return to Nevada to face a murder charge.
Holocaust survivor on acceptance
Holocaust survivor Celina Karp Biniaz, who was the youngest person on Schindler’s List, talks about the most important message for people to understand from her life and experiences.
Holocaust survivor speaks about telling her story
Holocaust survivor Celina Karp Biniaz, who was the youngest person on Schindler’s List, tells of opening up about her experiences during Sunday’s event at Temple Sinai.
Jesus Jara State of the Schools address
Clark County School District Superintendent Jesus Jara delivers his State of the Schools address on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. (Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Michael Naft sworn in to Clark County Commission
Michael Naft, chosen by Gov. Steve Sisolak to be his replacement on the Clark County Commission, was sworn into office on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019. (Shea Johnson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Opening Party in Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace
CES conventioneers packed Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace, and let loose as they danced to DJs into the night. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas police piecing together details of fatal shooting
Six hours after the fact, Las Vegas homicide detectives worked to reconstruct the scene of a shooting early Jan. 7 that left one man dead in the southeast valley. (Rio Lacanlale/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dyer Lawrence explains college football playoff system proposal
Las Vegan Dyer Lawrence has a new idea for a college football playoff system that includes a unique scheduling component called National Call Out Day. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Death row inmate Scott Dozier found dead in his cell
Nevada death row inmate Scott Dozier is dead. Dozier’s death ends his legal odyssey, which began in 2007 when he was convicted in the 2002 murder of Jeremiah Miller, but does little to clarify what’s next for Nevada’s death penalty.
I-15 southbound near Primm closed after ‘major crash’
A rollover crash Saturday morning involving at least nine vehicles on southbound Interstate 15 near Primm caused an hourslong traffic delay. Traffic was backed up to Sloan, live traffic cameras show. (Rio Lacanlale/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Death Valley visitors deal with shutdown
Visitors staying at the Furnace Creek Campground were forced to move from the campground following health and safety concerns due to lack of resources during the partial government shutdown at Death Valley National Park in Calif., on Friday, Jan. 4, 2019. Richard Brian Las Vegas Review-Journal @vegasphotograph
Half of homicides in Henderson for 2018 domestic violence related
Lt. Kirk Moore of the public information office of the city of Henderson police department speaks to the Review-Journal in Henderson, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019. Henderson saw a slight increase in homicides in the past year. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Governor-elect Steve Sisolak stops by Las Vegas Boys and Girls Club
Governor-elect Steve Sisolak kicks off his tour to Carson City, which will take him from Las Vegas, through Tonopah, and up to the capital city. First stop is the Downtown Boys & Girls Club.
Certificates for renewing wedding vows in Clark County
The Marriage License Bureau in Clark County began issuing a Certificate of Vow Renewal to married couples who are renewing their wedding vows on Jan. 3, 2019. (Shea Johnson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas flu season better than last year (so far)
Dr. Fermin Leguen, chief medical officer and director of clinical services at the Southern Nevada Health District, said there were 24 flu-related deaths at this point in the flu season. No deaths have been reported so far this year. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
The Las Vegas Valley’s First Baby of 2019
The first 2019 baby in the Las Vegas Valley was Melialani Chihiro Manning, born at 12:10 a.m. at Henderson Hospital. (Briana Erickson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas NYE Fireworks - VIDEO
The full show: A spectacular view from the rooftop of the Trump International Hotel as 80,000 pyrotechnics illuminated the Las Vegas Strip at the stroke of midnight. Fireworks by Grucci choreographed launches from the Stratosphere, the Venetian, Treasure Island, Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood, Aria and MGM Grand.
Snow in Henderson on New Year's Eve morning
Light snow flurries in Anthem Highlands in Henderson on Monday morning, the last day of 2018.
Sources: Henderson Constable may face more charges
Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell may face additional charges ... stemming from his spending of county funds, sources said. Mitchell was indicted earlier this month on five felony theft and fraud charges ... after a Las Vegas Review-Journal story questioned his spending. But grand jury records show even more extensive spending including ... an $800 dinner at steakhouse ... nearly 200 atm withdrawals mostly at gambling establishments ... and even Disneyland tickets. But his attorney plans to ask a judge to dismiss the charges.
Las Vegas NYE Restrictions and Enhanced Security
If you are planning to celebrate New Year's Eve on the Las Vegas Strip or Fremont Street, be aware that you are not allowed to bring backpacks, coolers, strollers or glass. There will also be an increase in security to ensure safe celebrations across town.
Catholic Charities serves up 53rd annual Christmas dinner
Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada and more than 100 volunteers served 1,000 Christmas meals to Southern Nevada's homeless and less fortunate. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @kmcannonphoto)
Henderson couple adds another school to their generosity
Bob and Sandy Ellis of Henderson, who donate to several Clark County School District schools, have added Matt Kelly Elementary in Las Vegas to their list of schools where every student gets new shoes, socks and a toy. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jeffrey Martin Added To Nevada's Black Book
Martin was one of four men convicted of theft and cheating at gambling in 2016 in Clark County District Court and sentenced to prison. The Nevada Gaming Commission voted unanimously Thursday to include Martin in the black book.
Raiders Stadium Timelapse
Construction on the new Raiders stadium continues in Las Vegas.
Buffalo Wild Wings security video
Security footage from a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in southwest Las Vegas captured a driver who repeatedly crashed into a vehicle in a failed attempt to squeeze into a tight parking spot.
The Magical Forest at Opportunity Village
Opportunity Village's Magical Forest added 1 million lights and a synchronized music show visible from all over the forest this year. The holiday attraction, which began in 1991, has a train, rides, food and entertainment along with the light displays. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Navigating the new I-515 southbound to 215 Beltway ramp configuration
After opening at 5 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018, the new Interstate 515 southbound to the 215 Beltway westbound freeway ramp configuration caused confusion amongst motorist. Here’s how to navigate the new ramp. (Mick Akers/ Las Vegas Review-Journal).
A record breaking donation of nearly $9 million to Girls Scouts of Southern Nevada
A record breaking donation of property valued at nearly $9 million was made to the Girls Scouts of Southern Nevada by the Charles and Phyllis M. Frias Charitable Trust. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal. @bizutesfaye
Kerry Clasby thanks the community for support after California fire damage
Intuitive Forager Kerry Clasby talks about the lessons of accepting help as she has gone through the Woolsey Fire disaster, in which she lost many of her belongings. About 100 people were on hand for an event that raised about $7,000.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like