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Provo City School District Covid-19 Updates

The Utah State Board of Education (USBE) recently published Utah’s School Report Cards.

Before examining how our schools have grown and progressed in student learning across our district, here’s how the USBE gathers and organizes data to formulate scorecards and criteria.

The District Report Card uses measurement tools like RISE (end-of-year tests for grades 3-8), Utah Aspire Plus (end-of-year tests for grades 9-10), WIDA Access 2.0 (measuring K-12 English Learner progress), ACT scores (all of which gather end-of-year test scores), Advanced Course scores (in Advanced Placement, Career and Technical Education, and Concurrent Enrollment), and four-year high school graduation rates, which develop and support the Report Card scoring criteria. Three sections comprise the Elementary and Middle School Report Cards, including a fourth section for schools with more than 10 percent of its students being English Language Learners. The four criteria areas are:

  1. Achievement – Computed by calculating student scores according to proficiency in ELA, math, and science in the end-of-year test scores measured statewide. Achievement makes up 37% of the Report Card.
  2. Growth – Computed by calculating improvements in end-of-year student test scores from the previous school year’s ELA, math, and science scores measured statewide. Growth makes up 37% of the report card.
  3. Growth of the Lowest 25 Percent – Computed by calculating improvements in the bottom twenty-five percent of students’ ELA, math, and science scores compared to the current year measured statewide. This criterion makes up 17% of the report card.
  4. EL Progress – Similarly calculated scores for English Learning students for schools that have 10 percent or more English Learning students. All Provo schools meet this criterion, and USBE measures all our schools for EL Progress. EL Progress makes up 9% of the report card.

High Schools include a fifth section called Postsecondary Readiness. USBE calculates Postsecondary Readiness through a matrix computing three evenly point-distributed criteria:

Percentage of students scoring an 18 or higher on the ACT Four-year graduation percentage Percentage of students passing AP tests, Concurrent Enrollment, and CTE courses. 

With this fifth section, The High School Report Card breakdown looks like this:

Achievement, 25% Growth, 25% EL Progress, 6% Growth of the Lowest 25 Percent, 11% Postsecondary Readiness, 33%

All tests used to calculate scores come from students enrolled for the entire academic year (160+ days) in the tested grades (3rd through 11th grade) taking valid tests (85% completed by the student), also adding in alternatively assessment tested students. Each school measures their test against statewide assessments to determine where a school scores.

Students must also complete a 95% participation rate (meaning 95% of enrolled students who haven’t opted out of testing must answer at least six questions on a given test); if not, a school’s Achievement scores drop significantly. Our staff works hard to ensure that we meet the 95% rate each year.

You might notice that factors like Growth, Growth of the Lowest 25 percent, and EL Progress create space for variation when comparing separate districts, and you’d be right. EL Progress, for example, could drastically drop district scores. All our schools meet this EL Progress threshold, meaning EL students make up more than 10 percent of our student body. To compare this state-wide, only 39 of 121 non-Provo schools meet the threshold– 68 percent of Alpine and Nebo schools do not factor in EL progress.

The report card’s goal is not to directly compare districts but to describe where each district and school is relatively exemplary or requires development to serve students better. No community shares the exact needs of students. With that said, we’re grateful to note that our schools have worked hard to move the needle forward on our district averages across all criteria.

For a more thorough breakdown of how data translates directly into percentages and scores, you can watch our Board Meeting video (from 58:30 – 1:28:00).

So, before posting the grades, here are what our grade level descriptors mean:

Elementary and Middle Grades:

A: Exemplary School – Exceeds expectations for academic achievement AND growth. Equitable educational opportunities are outstanding. B: Commendable School – Meets expectations for academic achievement AND growth. Equitable educational opportunities are satisfactory. C: Typical School – Meets expectations for academic achievement OR growth. Equitable educational opportunities are adequate. D: Developing School – Partially meets expectations for academic achievement OR growth. Equitable educational opportunities are not adequate.  F: Critical Needs School – Has not met academic achievement AND growth expectations. Equitable educational opportunities are not adequate. 

Secondary Grades:

A: Exemplary School – Exceeds academic achievement, growth, and postsecondary readiness expectations. Equitable educational opportunities are outstanding. B: Commendable School – Meets academic achievement, growth, and postsecondary readiness expectations. Equitable educational opportunities are satisfactory. C: Typical School – Meets academic achievement, growth, or postsecondary readiness expectations. Equitable educational opportunities are adequate. D: Developing School – Partially meets expectations for academic achievement, growth, or postsecondary readiness. Equitable educational opportunities are not adequate.  F: Critical Needs School – Has not met academic achievement, growth expectations, and postsecondary readiness. Equitable educational opportunities are not adequate. 

None of our schools are Critical Needs Schools. Many of our B schools (like Rock Canyon and Westridge) were fractions of a percentage away from an A rating, enhancing our district averages. 

With the breakdown out of the way, here are our report cards, each grouped into Elementary, Middle, and High Schools:

Provo City School District Elementary Schools:

Provo City School District Middle Schools:

Provo City School District High Schools:

Again, the primary goal of the School Report Card isn’t to compare neighboring districts; the Report Card does, however, include charts comparing districts. The first chart compares neighboring districts, but doesn’t account for the EL population, which does lower scores. The first chart also excludes other district’s alternative schools Polaris and Landmark, while ours includes Independence, our alternative high school.

Neighboring Districts Regardless of EL Population and Alternative High Schools:

Neighboring Districts Comparing Similar EL Progress and Alternative Schools:

Side-by-side District Comparisons:

Comparing Alternative High Schools:

Finally, we look at our comparisons of the 2022 Report Card to last year’s Report Card– this is where you can note the greatest difference.

Elementary Schools Report Card 2018-2019 versus 2021-2022:

Secondary Schools Report Card 2018-2019 versus 2021-2022:

Middle School Grade scale

High School Grade scale

Reviewing the categories, all similar schools measured with similar factors, specifically catering to English Language Learning students, reveal that our high schools are among the best in the state according to these USBE criteria. Our high schools all moved up a full letter grade– no small task, particularly considering the challenging circumstances in the last two years. 

Moreover, several of our schools show drastic growth from scores measured pre-COVID– schools. 

It’s worth recognizing that the criteria doesn’t take into account impacted groups, like students with learning disabilities or homelessness. Our middle schools, for example, take on greater populations of impacted students across the state, and do great work serving our students and their needs, considering those factors.

We know that the post-COVID slump made grade improvements difficult– and yet, we’re proud to say that our district averages show improvements from pre-COVID to post-COVID.

Regardless of our scores, however, we thank all of our staff and students for working hard through a challenging, transitory period. Keep up the incredible work. 

Spencer Tuinei
  • Communication Specialist
  • Spencer Tuinei
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