Dolores schools drop accredited with distinction title

Last year, when the Dolores School District was accredited with distinction, students, staff and parents joined in celebration.

The accreditation given out yearly by the Colorado Department of Education meant that the Dolores schools were in the top 10 percent of schools in the state.

When those same accreditations were released this week, they showed that a celebration wasn’t likely in order, but that Dolores schools still rank at the top.

When compared to schools locally, Dolores scored well.

This year, the CDE gave the Dolores School District 76 points after looking at several factors, including test scores in all groups and subgroups at the district. Last year, the Dolores School District was awarded 83.6 points.

The highest point value given by the CDE this year was 93.9 and that went to Hinsdale County School District.

Nineteen schools earned 80 or above in the point system, earning them a accredited with distinction label. That is about 10 percent of the schools in the state of Colorado.

About 48 percent of the schools were accredited.

Mancos School District also was accredited with 69.2 points.

The Durango School District was accredited with improvement with 62.5 points and Montezuma-Cortez School District was accredited with priority improvement with 48.3 points. Dolores County School District was accredited with improvement with 58.7 points.

Those schools that the CDE said were accredited with distinction were: The top 19 districts with over 80 percent of DPF points were districts Accredited with Distinction. They are: Academy School District 20, Aspen School District 1, Cheyenne Mountain School District 12, Cotopaxi School District RE-3, Eads School District RE-1, Haxtun School District RE-2J, Hinsdale County School District RE-1, Kiowa County School District C-2, Lewis-Palmer School District 38, Littleton Public Schools 6, Moffat School District 2, North Park School District R-1, Ouray School District R-1, Park County School District RE-2, Plateau School District RE-5, Ridgway School District R-2, Steamboat Springs School District RE-2, Swink School District 33 and Telluride School District R-1.

Dolores Superintendent Scott Cooper gave these results to the School Board on Tuesday and said he was still happy with the way the school district performed, especially when the three-year span is studied.

“We had some disruptions last year,” Cooper said, which may have accounted for the drop.

Cooper was referring to the sudden resignation of Principal Linda Pepper. Once Pepper stepped down, retired former principal and superintendent Larry Archibeque filled in.

Cooper explained that the drop was largely due to the fact that the Dolores School District did not perform as well on the state tests as it did last year and had some lag in growth in some of the subgroups, such as those students on free and reduced lunches and those students needing to catch up.

“I can make all kinds of excuses, but I don’t’ like to, because we are still doing really well,” Cooper said.

Cooper said he was confident the school district would rise back up again.

The school board said they wanted to look at the results in more depth at the Dec. 18 meeting.