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Looking for a great public school in Denver? These are showing strong growth

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Posted at 11:11 AM, Jan 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-26 19:23:19-05

DENVER – It’s school choice week and parents across Colorado are searching for the best schools for their kids.

According to Brian Eschbacher with Denver Public Schools, about half of all students in the district opt to attend the school of their choice instead of their default neighborhood school.

To help make that decision, parents often look to the district’s color-coded grading system to gauge which schools are doing well.

The School Performance Framework measures factors like student test scores, parent/student engagement and satisfaction, equity, and college/career readiness. Each school then gets a color-coded grade from red (lowest) to blue (highest).

Schools with blue and green ratings can be some of the most popular because of their high scores, but that can also make them harder to get into.

There are other schools in the district that may have lower overall scores but are showing strong academic growth and improvement, and they can be great options, whether they’re in your neighborhood or a little farther away.

Here are a few of the schools that earned high growth scores in the 2015-2016 school year (click on the school name for a link to its full scores):

Elementary schools:
Creative Challenge Community
Steck Elementary School
Slavens K-8 School

Middle schools:
Denver School of Science and Technology: Byers Middle School
STRIVE Prep – Federal
McAuliffe International School

High schools:
The three high schools that rated the highest in terms of growth are all campuses of Denver School of Science and Technology:
Green Valley Ranch High School
Stapleton High School
Cole High School

Maegan Daigler, Director of Research and Accountability at Denver Public Schools, said parents of high school students should also look at how schools score on the postsecondary readiness metric. That number shows how well a school prepares its students for life after high school, whether that be college or work.

Parents may also be interested in the equity indicator, which was just added this past year, Daigler said. The equity number tracks how well a school addresses the needs of each student irrespective of background, socioeconomic status, ethnicity and other factors.

DPS publishes performance information for all of its schools online here.

Academic performance and growth are just some of the factors to consider when choosing a school. Click here for some more tips on finding the right school for your kids.

For more information, contact Denver’s school choice hotline at 720-423-3493. Operators who speak several languages are available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

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