Adams 14 School District asks for more time on accountability clock

Lowest performing district hires outside manager

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. -- Adams 14 School District presented its plan to get off the accountability clock to the State Board of Education Thursday, as the state prepares to intervene if they don't improve quickly enough.

Adams City High School is one of eight Adams 14 School Districts schools that are low-performing, and the district is running out of time.

In a hearing Thursday, the new superintendent presented a plan for improvement to the State School Board that includes hiring an outside management partner, called Beyond Textbooks, to assist with training and curriculum.

"Our goals are to make sure we do not have any schools on the improvement status," said Javier Abrego, who took over as superintendent in Aug 2016. "Give us one year to implement this Beyond Textbooks, and in one year we will see results."

The district has faced serious challenges, including very high turnover for teachers, staff and administration. Adams City High School has had four principals in five years.

Also, half of the students are English-language learners.

There is concern among state education officials that the outside manager would only work with three schools as part of the test project. Still, the State Department of Education is confident there can be significant and fast improvement.

"We're looking for a plan that has some rapid change that we could start seeing some results as soon as next year," said Brenda Bautsch, an accountability specialist for the Colorado Department of Education.

Parents at the meeting said they also want that, and perhaps more importantly, they want their schools to stay open.

"I don't want to see our school close. That's the number one thing. Our schools, we need to keep them all open and strive to make them the best they can be," said RaeAnn Javier with S.T.O.M.P., the Support Team of Motivated Parents.

In Thursday's hearing the Board said they want the district to work with the Department of Education to clarify the relationship with Beyond Textbooks and present a plan in June.

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