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Several TUSD schools make leaps in school letter grades

 Posted August 4, 2014

Tucson Unified School District Superintendent H.T. Sánchez said on Monday, August 4, 2014, that the school letter grades released by the Arizona Department of Education show the district has remained stable overall during a challenging period.

The letter grades are released by the Arizona Department of Education each year and are based on factors including AIMS and other standardized test scores, graduation rates and student mobility.

Dr. Sánchez said that one of the goals for the district going forward is to support schools so that changes and challenges can be absorbed successfully.

"We want to create a strong foundation so that school performance is supported by the system not individuals who can change," he said.

At the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year, many children had moved to new schools—sometimes twice—because of school closures. The district had 225 teacher openings; interim principals, interim leaders in key administrative positions, including elementary leadership, curriculum and technology; and the district had no comprehensive curriculum.

Among the successes in this year's letter grades:

Palo Verde Magnet School, which was an underperforming school placed in the turnaround process in 2011, reached A status this year.
Drachman bumped up two grade levels, from a C to an A this year.
Marshall, Mission View and Tolson elementary schools gained two grade levels, from D to B.
Johnson went from an F to a C.
Banks, Davidson, Vesey, Vail and Cholla rose from C to B grades.
Oyama and Catalina rose from D to C schools.

The Arizona Department of Education also released AIMS scores for the past year. Strides were made at the third-grade level in reading and in seventh, 10th and 12th grades in reading, writing and math.

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