I want to take this opportunity to share some positive information regarding Grand County High School’s recent accreditation as well as our Advanced Placement (AP) testing results from the previous school year.

Every five years, Grand County High School must go through an accreditation process in order to maintain our status as an accredited institution. Being an accredited institution is critical for the future success of students who graduate from GCHS. Having an accredited status validates the credits earned by students during their high school tenure. Accreditation allows for students to be accepted to institutions of higher education, universities, colleges, technological schools, the military, etc. If GCHS was not accredited, these institutions would not have to accept our students.

This past spring, a visiting accreditation team came to GCHS for two days and observed in classrooms, interviewed parents, teachers and students. After reviewing the report written from our self-study along with the data from their visit, the team wrote a final report. The report discussed areas of powerful practices and improvement priorities. In regard to powerful practices, the visiting team wrote, “There is a family atmosphere at Grand County High School where stakeholders support each other in creating a culture of teaching and learning and celebrate the diversity of the school community.” In addition, the team pointed out that we have a high level of support for students, academically and emotionally. They pointed to our after-school tutoring, counseling opportunities and advisory as positive means to support students.

In terms of improvement priorities, GCHS will be working on the following areas:

Develop and implement a clear, systemic and systematic process for collecting, analyzing and applying data from multiple sources to better inform and support teaching and learning.

Provide quality coaching and mentoring for teachers to ensure effective and consistent implementation of professional development training and school policies and procedures.

Refine the multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) based on formative data to address student needs and provide intervention at all levels.

As a result of the accreditation process, GCHS received a five-year accreditation renewal with an update in the next two years regarding our progress on the improvement priorities. The complete report can be found on the district and Grand County High School websites: grandschools.org/districtoffice or grandschools.org/highschool.

Grand County High School offers Advanced Placement (AP) courses in calculus, English and art. In order to receive a passing score on an AP exam, a student must achieve a 3 or better on a 5-point scale. GCHS had an 80 percent passing rate on the AP Calculus exam. It must be noted that two students had a score of 4 and one student achieved a 5. Ten students took the AP Calculus exam. The national passing rate for the AP Calculus exam is a 57.4 percent. The GCHS passing rate for the AP English Literature and Composition exam was 71 percent. It must be noted that one of the students achieved a score of 5. Twenty-eight students took the AP English Literature and Composition exam. The national passing rate for the AP English exam is a 56.2 percent. The Studio 2D Art Students achieved a 100 percent passing rate. Three students took the AP Studio 2D Art exam which included a digital portfolio of their work. The national passing rate for the AP Studio 2D Art exam is a 78.2 percent.

The teachers of these courses are to be commended for the exceptional instruction they provided the students in these classes. Ms. Allison Brown teaches the AP Calculus course, Ms. Alanna Simmons-Cameron teaches the AP English course and Ms. Christa Green teaches the AP art course.

In addition, the students taking these courses are to be commended for their dedication to academic excellence and success regardless if they achieved a passing score on the exam.