ELOY — The school board is looking to shake things up in hopes of improvement after the state gave Santa Cruz Valley Union High School a final letter grade of D.
The school earned only 48.77 points out of a possible 90 under the state Board of Education’s grading system.
In last week’s monthly meeting, the Santa Cruz Valley Union High School District board discussed the idea of changing the use of the high school’s College and Career Ready, or CCR, period to a period where students will work on either math or language arts via a software program the district is looking to purchase.
The school letter grades are determined by five quantifiable factors such as student growth from year to year or the maintenance of top achievement for high-performing students.
Individual students are compared year to year instead of comparing one class to the previous year’s class. Growth accounts for 20 percent of the high school’s grade.
The other factors are proficiency on AzMERIT testing, English language proficiency and growth, indicators that high school students are ready for success in a career or higher education, and high school graduation rates.
Superintendent Orlenda Roberts mentioned there is investigation and research of an application that is individualized for students to work at their independent levels. The software has broad spectrum for each grade level that will work for both students who are behind and those who want to get ahead.
Each classroom will have laptop cards for students to work independently. The district is looking at such work to be done during the CCR period after hearing comments from the students that, as of now, the period is ineffective.
The software will adjust the curriculum according to how the student scores on the modules.
The school’s curriculum for that period will be either pass or fail, depending on whether the student completes the number of modules required.
Since the software is individualized, even if two students are in the same range they will not be working on the same assignment.
“We’re looking at what we’re currently doing and what we need to do better to address the need of our kids,” Roberts said.
The board is also looking at ways to get more students into Career and Technical Education classes and how to increase the number of students taking dual-credit classes with Central Arizona College.
“We get so focused on the seniors and getting them graduated, so we’re trying to loop back around and do some stuff immediately from the gate with our freshmen because that’s when you lose them,” Santa Cruz Principal Orante Jenkins said.
A public meeting is planned for 5 p.m. July 12 to review upcoming school improvement plans and to get community input on strategies to be implemented.
In last week’s meeting the board also briefly discussed plans for the 10-percent increase in teacher salaries and mentioned a 5-percent increase for administrators.
The district has met its capital limit and cannot afford raises for everyone, and each teacher’s increase will be based on his or her contract amount.