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Note from Superintendent Swanson: Sept. 4, 2019

Dear Westminster Community,

I hope you all had a nice Labor Day holiday and found some shade and lemonade to help you deal with these record hot temperatures. If you are like me and have family back east you may have also been keeping one eye on the television following the trajectory of Hurricane Dorian. The images coming out of the Bahamas are devastating and I ask you to keep the residents there in your thoughts.

For many people, Labor Day equates to the start of the school year, but in reality, our staff and students are already well into the 2019-20 school year. Our schools have already hosted their back to school nights and, later this month and into the month of October, will be hosting parent/teacher conferences.  

While we spend most of our time looking to the future in Westminster Public Schools, I do want to share some information with you about the District and School Performance Frameworks recently released by the Colorado Department of Education.

The frameworks, a critical part of the state accountability model, are built around a complicated formula using achievement results, student academic growth and other factors. 

As you probably know, we are not big fans of the state accountability model, that is not truly compatible with our Competency Based System (CBS), which places an emphasis on mastery of content instead of once-a-year high stakes testing.

Even so, the Performance Frameworks show good news for Westminster Public Schools.

The district as a whole remains in the Improvement category and significantly, Westminster High School also moved to the Improvement category, which was a major goal for the district in the 2018-19 school year. As a group, our high school students were the only ones in the metro area to go up in last year’s SAT scores. A proud accomplishment.

Seven of our schools are in the Performance Category and, for the second year in a row, Colorado STEM Academy has been identified as a School of Distinction.

I’ve included a chart that I shared with the Board of Education which shows the school’s success.

WPS CDE Test Results

At the same time, you should know that we still have a lot of work to do to make sure that all of our schools and classrooms are performing at the highest level possible.

That is our goal and our commitment to the Westminster community.

Kindest regards, 

Dr. Pamela Swanson

Superintendent of Schools