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Mountain Middle School experiences high test results after expanding grades

Head of school attests cultural expectations for the school’s success
Mountain Middle School currently has a total student population of 362. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file)

One year after expanding to offer fourth and fifth grade classes, Mountain Middle School students recently earned the school’s highest-ever results for Colorado Measures of Academic Success testing.

Fourth and fifth graders earned the state’s top ranking for public elementary schools in Colorado for academic growth and the state’s top ranking for academic achievement in both math and English Language Arts.

Also, middle school grades earned the No. 3 ranking for public middle schools in Colorado for academic achievement with English language arts scores in the 98th percentile and math scores in the 92nd percentile.

Minority students scored in the 93rd percentile for academic achievement and demonstrated a year and a half worth of growth. State rankings for all public schools in Colorado are based on points earned in the areas of academic growth and achievement from the annual State CMAS testing results.

“The vision of Mountain Middle School is to be a distinguished educational community leader that empowers students to own their future by preparing students to achieve their highest academic and social potential,” said Head of School Shane Voss. “We want to congratulate all of our students and talented teachers for the incredible growth scores and overall state ranking.”

Voss said most of the school’s success was a result of its cultural expectations. He says the school tries to instill a high level of integrity and respect in their students.

“Habits of the mind” is a concept utilized in the school’s curriculum, which emphasizes effort over ability.

“We talk about refinement, and continually refining their work until it's of their best quality,” Voss said.

The school has also received the “performance with distinction” accreditation from the Colorado Charter School Institute seven out of the last 10 years.

The charter school added fourth and fifth grades last year, and with it came a $4.2 million addition to the school’s building in North Durango, over half which was funded through Bond Issue 4A allocations.

The additions were needed to accommodate a growing student body at the Durango charter school. The school grew to about 300 students last year when it added fourth and fifth grades. The total student population is around 362 students including students who are home-schooled.


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