The Big Sandy School District received the Colorado Department of Education’s highest rating this week being classified as “Accredited with Distinction.” This is the first year the Simla Schools have achieved the highest of five categories in the ratings.

Big Sandy School District scored 76.2 points, needing at least 74.0 points to achieve the highest category. The other categories include “Turnaround,” “Priority Improvement,” “Accredited with Improvement Plan,” and “Accredited.”

“The last two times the ratings were given out we missed it by 1.6 points and 1.5 points, and we are excited that our students’ academic achievement and growth as shown on last spring’s state assessments were enough to get into the state’s highest category,” said Steve Wilson, superintendent. “To achieve this ranking it takes the entire school district’s students and staff to contribute at a high level.”

Each of Simla’s three schools, the elementary school, junior high school, and high school received CDE’s highest ranking of “Performance,” with each scoring well above the minimum number for the highest category. The elementary scored 78.0 points, needing 53.0 points to get into the highest category.

Elementary principal, Kathy Tucker said, “This honor is a result of teamwork, hard work and perseverance of all students and staff. Thank you, Simla Elementary, for your dedication and motivation to succeed, your hard work paid off!”

The junior high school scored 74.6 points, needing 53.0 points to get into the highest category and the high school scored 78.7 points also needing 53.0 points to get into the highest category. Not only do the high school students take the state assessments, the national SAT exam is included in the scoring as well as graduation and dropout rates.

Simla’s secondary principal, Sammi Swennes said, “Thank you to all of the students and staff for working so hard and increasing the rigor each day.”

The Simla schools are off to a great start to the 2017-2018 school year. The enrollment is up 30+ students throughout the district. We look forward to having much success throughout the school year with our students, families, staff and the Big Sandy School Community!