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Unified (school) Improvement Plan

The Unified School Improvement Plan (UIP) as defined by the Colorado Department of Education:

Colorado schools and districts can improve student learning and system effectiveness by engaging in a cycle of continuous improvement to manage their performance. To support this purpose, the Education Accountability Act of 2009 requires each Colorado district and school to create an annual improvement plan. The Colorado Department of Education has developed a unified improvement planning template and processes to support schools and districts in their performance management efforts. The UIP template has been designed to meet state, federal, and program accountability requirements. – See more at: http://www.cde.state.co.us/uip#sthash.visyhrG3.dpuf

Colorado Springs District 11 refers to the Unified District Improvement Plan as “UdIP” and each school’s improvement plan as a “UsIP”. Throughout the state, the plan is more commonly referenced simply as “UIP”.

Each year, AcademyACL provides a copy of its current UsIP, designed by its Lead Team, Data Team, and School Accountability Committee, to District 11 in the fall of each school year, where it is then submitted to the Colorado Department of Education and posted in the spring of that year. Therefore, the public version of this document reflects the work that has already been in place for that school year. Internally, teachers adjust and update their strategies on the UsIP as needed throughout the year.

  • Lead Team members represent each teaching team, from Primary (DI & II), Middle (DIII), Upper (DIV & V), Encore (Spanish, Art, Music/Theater, PE, Rhythm & Bells, Technology), and Learning Resource teams.
  • Data Team members also include a representative from each teaching team.
  • The School Accountability Committee is a sub-committee of the AcademyACL Board of Directors, with its membership and mission defined by state statute to include a Board member, the Academy Director, at least one teacher (AcademyACL includes the Lead Team members), at least one parent, and at least one community member.

Every school in Colorado identifies improvement needs, their root causes, and then three goals  with strategies to address one or more critical needs. Goals may be continued from year to year.

The current UsIPs of all schools in Colorado can be found here: http://www.cde.state.co.us/schoolview/performance

Please note, concerning score summaries from 2010-2013:

When viewing public information concerning AcademyACL , note that sample sizes and years of operation affect scores. Where a particular grade or population of students is below a given number, the results are not released to anyone but the appropriate staff members at that school because otherwise, students might be identified by their scores (which is in violation of the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act, known as FERPA). Therefore, in the beginning years at AcademyACL (starting in 2010), certain grades’ data is not available on public reports.

Additionally, in its first year of operation, AcademyACL did not have its own scores from previous years, obviously. However, this meant that students could not show ‘growth’ from previous years, except for students who happened to enroll from a previous District 11 school. Therefore, it was impossible for AcademyACL to earn sufficient ‘growth points’ on its School Performance Framework (SPF), which is used to set goals for the UsIP. Also, in its first year of operation, older grade enrollment was so small that no student could afford to become ill or the school would not earn its 95% participation points. However, in two grades, this occurred. Colorado Springs District 11 provided additional information in support of AcademyACL’s first year success to the Department of Education (CDE). District 11 advocated for a green “Performance” rating. CDE  agreed to move the designation from a red “Turnaround” rating, based solely on points that were affected by no previous growth scores and only 93% instead of 95% participation, to an orange “Priority Improvement” rating. AcademyACL moved up into green “Performance” rating the following year.

Additionally, please note, concerning the data results beginning spring 2014:

There are NEW assessments for Science and for Social Studies, beginning with 2014 results, and the totals cannot be compared to previous Science results (“CSAP” and “TCAP” tests). There were no previous Social Studies assessments. The new assessments for these subjects are called CMAS. (Colorado Measures of Academic Success). Please see Curriculum page for more information on new standards and assessments.

Beginning with Reading, Writing, and Math results in 2015, there are NEW assessments called PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers), and the results cannot be compared to previous assessments in these subjects. These are completely different tests, based on new standards, and these results set a baseline for subsequent years. The PARCC tests are national tests, applicable as Colorado has incorporated the Common Core national standards into its Colorado Academic Standards.

Nationally and in Colorado, it is anticipated that all initial results on CMAS (Colorado’s Science & Social Studies) and PARCC (Reading, Writing, Math, Common Core standards) will be lower than previous years’ results (on Colorado’s CSAP and TCAP) until teachers have arranged and adapted curriculum that addresses the expectations of the new assessments. While the new standards have been available for use since 2010, teachers will not know how the test creators have interpreted these standards until the first baseline results have occurred and more sample items for comparison are released.