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Bayfield graduation rate at 92 percent
2/10/2014 By: Melanie Brubaker Mazur
Bayfield School Board members received some good news about local graduation rates at their meeting last week
Ninety-two percent of all Bayfield High School students graduate, and most do that within four years. That compares to a regional graduation rate of 79 percent, and a statewide rate of 72 percent.
The data were presented at the board's Jan. 28 meeting by Matt Klausmeier for the San Juan Board of Cooperative Education Services. BOCES provides educational services for nine school districts in Southwest Colorado, including Bayfield and Ignacio.
Klausmeier has been working on a study in conjunction with Harvard University regarding regional graduation rates, along with how many of those students go on to college or trade school.
In Bayfield, 39 percent of graduates go on to post-secondary education, and of those, 83 percent enroll for a second year of study.
That rate of post-secondary education is a little lower than the regional average of 40 percent and the statewide average of 43 percent.
Board members wondered if fewer students in Bayfield move on to college because they can get jobs out of high school.
Superintendent Troy Zabel said he thinks it might be because our area is "regionally isolated," meaning there aren't a lot of colleges close to home.
When asked why the local graduation rate is high, particularly for a rural school district, Zabel gave credit to parents and the community.
"That community environment - 'you will finish school' - makes a big difference," he said.
In other action, the board heard from Bayfield Elementary Principal Diane Chambers and Assistant Principal Bill Hesford about professional development for teachers. Much of this is provided during the district’s late start days two Wednesdays a month.
Chambers presented a data chart from one class measuring test scores for students, and how the teachers use that data to target students who need extra help, or provide them with extra challenges. For example, a student behind in reading will receive targeted reading time, either one-on-one or in small group, two or three times a day, Chambers said.
The late start days provide time for teams of teachers to work on these issues. At the most recent late start in January, educators worked on teaching writing skills, Hesford said.
The board also approved $26,650 in year-end bonuses for staff.
Zabel also updated the board on a possible land purchase of 23 acres the school district owners near the Pine River. The Town of Bayfield has a letter of intent to purchase the land, but the town did not receive a state grant it was hoping for to help pay for it. Zabel recommended extending the letter of intent until Sept. 15, giving the town time to apply for the grant again. The board agreed.
In his report to board members, Zabel said:
- budget planning is starting for the 2014-2015 school year
- a drug dog search at Bayfield High School found some “residual” drug scents, such as those found on clothes, but nothing was found in students’ lockers.
- Daniel Cyr, the new school resource officer with the Bayfield Marshal’s office, has visited all of the schools and is starting to meet staff and students.
- Zabel also is considering the consolidation of school board meetings from twice a month to once a month, including a study session and dinner. The board's next meeting will be Feb. 25.
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