Harrison feels a sense of urgency after publication of state SPF


Jillian Donahue, Adviser

Every year, the Colorado Department of Education releases annual DPF (District Performance Framework) and SPF (School Performance Framework) reports for all public schools in the state. This year, the news was a hard blow for the hardworking staff at Harrison High School. The school’s overall rating stayed at Priority Improvement for the second year in a row. Last year was the first year Harrison landed in Priority Improvement since 2010.

Several factors are considered when determining a school’s overall SPF including student growth, achievement, graduation rates, and drop out rates. Schools receive points in each category, percentages are calculated, and a final result is published (see featured photo).

After receiving the data, the administrative team jumped into action with a clear plan to ensure the school moves back toward become a Performance school. Student growth and achievement are at or above the state average for schools with a similar demographic. The area that requires the most improvement is the school drop out rate, which tends to suffer in numbers when students leave school without providing documentation of a transfer to another institution of learning. While there are interventions in place for attendance and drop out rates, the more controllable areas include student achievement and growth.

Harrison’s main data points are the PSAT 9 and 10, SAT 11, and Work Keys 12 assessments. To ensure the school maintains its course on student achievement points earned, teachers in each content area are given direction to explicitly teach skills necessary to perform on these assessments.

Despite the news, the recent report highlighted some positive areas for Harrison High. ELA saw an achievement gain of 13 points, while math saw a gain of 5. ELA saw an 8 point growth gain, and while math growth remained the same as last year, subgroups of students such as multilingual learners showed exceptional growth.

“I’m confident that with the strong efforts of our teachers and students we will move out of Priority Improvement this year.  We aren’t leaving anything to chance by upping our game through purposeful instruction and targeted interventions. What brings me the most assurance is knowing how our Panther family solidly unites when there’s a need: we will get the job done,” says Asst. Principal Tyler Lawrence.

Overall, the district as whole is getting the job done, earning nearly 60% and landing in the accredited category.