Office of Education grades schools; local schools get A’s

WASHINGTON COUNTY – Of Utah public schools, 56 percent earned either an A or a B in the first-ever release of school grades released by the Utah State Office of Education today. The schools’ “report cards” come in compliance with a new law enacted by the Utah Legislature in 2011.

Utah has 855 public schools. Of these: 11 percent earned an A;  45 percent a B; 30 percent a C; 10 percent a D; and 4 percent an F.

Grades are based on a combination of student growth and student performance on criterion-referenced tests in language arts, math and science given in the spring of each year. High schools are also judged in part on the additional standard of graduation rates. And, schools had to test at least 95 percent of all their students and 95 percent of their underperforming students. Schools that failed to test enough students were given a grade of F regardless of student performance or growth.

The 10 Washington County traditional public schools to earn A’s include: Arrowhead, Diamond Valley, Hurricane, Santa Clara, and Sunset elementary schools, Tonaquint, Fossil Ridge, Sunrise Ridge intermediate schools, and Desert Hills and Pine View middle schools.  One Iron County school also earned an A: Enoch Elementary.

“I invite parents and those interested in the performance of Utah’s public schools to use these school grades as an invitation to further explore our schools and how well students are doing,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Martell Menlove said. “These grades are based on test performance and growth. I suspect there may be changes in the calculations as we move forward into the next legislative session. There are many other measures of schools. I encourage those of you with students in high schools to look at the results of ACT, SAT and AP tests there. For a parent, the best measure of a school is happens between a student and a teacher.”

The Utah Legislature passed the school grading bill in 2011 and made modifications amending the School Grading Act in 2013. This is the first year a single letter grade has been issued for each school in the state.

The list of schools and grades is long and this report does not undertake to list them all. Individual school grades can be found on the Public School Data Gateway found on the Utah State Office of Education website. Once on the site, type in the name of the school you are interested in to get the school’s report. You can also view a summary of all school grades.

Washington County traditional public schools that got A grades

  • Sunrise Ridge Intermediate
  • Tonaquint Intermediate
  • Desert Hills Middle
  • Arrowhead Elementary
  • Fossil Ridge Intermediate
  • Pine View Middle
  • Sunset Elementary
  • Santa Clara Elementary
  • Hurricane Elementary
  • Diamond Valley Elementary

Iron County traditional public schools that got A grades

  • Enoch Elementary

Ed. Note Sept. 7, 2013: Clarification made that those schools recited only include traditional public schools.

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Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.


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  • philiplo September 3, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    This article fails to mention that a local charter school (yes, Utah charter schools are indeed public schools) also received an “A” grade, scoring exactly the same as Tonaquint Intermediate and Sunrise Ridge Intermediate.

    Congratulations, George Washington Academy, for joining the list of “A” grade schools presented in this article, even if they chose to overlook your success when compiling the data.

  • go Valley Academy September 4, 2013 at 9:41 am

    This article also fails to mention that a local charter school (yes, Utah Charter Schools are indeed public schools) also received an “F” grade scoring in the lowest 2% of elementary schools in the state. Congratulations Valley Academy for joining the list of “F”ailing schools presented in this article, even if they chose to overlook your failure when compiling the data. Oh wait, the article only lists Washington and Iron County schools which did not have any schools failing.

  • valley Charter Parent September 7, 2013 at 10:41 am

    Valley Charter School failed? They just posted a huge banner that reads “A+ School”! For what did they score an A rating if not academics? Can they lie about their score? What are they teaching the students? That they can lie about their GPAs to get into college? I am very disappointed about the timing of the placement of this banner. I wish I had known this information before the school year started.

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