Equity in St. Vrain Valley Schools
Equity is achieved when each and every student has access to a wide variety of support, resources, spaces, models, programs, strategies, and highly-skilled staff in order to graduate prepared for success, including all races, ethnicities, languages, religions, abilities, genders, sexual orientations, gender identities, or economic statuses.
St. Vrain Valley Schools recognizes that well-being and excellence requires a commitment to equity. The district must work endlessly to acknowledge and address structures and practices that impact student safety, well-being, learning, and achievement.
St. Vrain’s commitment and examples of our work can be seen in the following programs:
For over a decade, St. Vrain has offered high-quality preschool programs in every school community. Research has shown that robust and high-quality early childhood education programs is pivotal to ensuring equity and giving students a strong foundation for academic growth and success.
In addition to high-quality preschool programs, St. Vrain Valley Schools has offered full-day kindergarten in all elementary schools for over a decade.
Full-day kindergarten programs improve the health prospects of low-income and racial and ethnic minority children, based on evidence that full-day programs substantially improve reading and mathematics achievement—determinants of long-term academic and health-related outcomes (e.g., reduced teen pregnancy and risk behaviors)—when compared with half-day kindergarten or full-day kindergarten on alternating days.
Investments throughout our schools
St. Vrain Valley Schools has invested millions of dollars in our schools. This has included the $16.6 million Race-to-the-Top grant, and the $3.6 million Investing in Innovation (i3) grant. These investments included significant upgrades to school buildings and classrooms, in addition to the wide implementation of STEM focus programming and the opening of the district’s Innovation Center.
Innovation Center and Career Elevation and Technology Center
St. Vrain Valley Schools offers robust curriculum and programs that are giving all students a strong competitive advantage for future success. Through the Innovation Center and the Career Elevation and Technology Center, students can earn many industry certifications and gain experience in fast growing technology and manufacturing industries.
Pathways in Technology Early College High School
St. Vrain Valley Schools is home to Colorado’s first Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) program, now offered at three district high schools. P-TECH is a new type of school that brings together the best elements of high school, college and the professional world, allowing students to earn a high school diploma as well an Associate degree at no cost to the student. The program includes significant internship and mentorship opportunities alongside industry partners, giving students a head start in their career after completing the program. Students enroll in 9th grade and complete the program in 4-6 years.
St. Vrain has three P-TECH programs, opening the first in 2016 at Skyline High School. Program recruitment focuses on first generation college students and students who may not traditionally pursue a STEM pathway.
Pathways to Teaching
The P-TEACH Program introduces St. Vrain high school students to a career as an educator by offering a variety of concurrent enrollment courses. Students can earn credit through UC Denver, as well as participate in a variety of enrichment activities such as field trips to the UC Denver School of Education and Human Development. This is one critical strategy that St. Vrain is focusing on to diversify our teaching ranks and provide additional career pathways that will keep our students in our community beyond graduation.
Rigorous Graduation Requirements
St. Vrain Valley Schools has some of the most rigorous graduation requirements in the state, ensuring that all students graduate with the number of credits required to apply to any postsecondary program in Colorado. As we have increased rigor, we have seen significant gains in student achievement, with minority students graduation rates and other academic growth indicators climbing at a faster rate than white students, making significant gains in closing the achievement gap.
Open Enrollment and School Choice
St. Vrain believes strongly that school attendance should not be limited by zipcode. To this end, students and families can enroll in any school or program that best fits their needs and interests. Additionally, the district has developed over 70 instructional focus programs that provide focused content delivery on top of the already rigorous academic foundation available at every school.
Unified Sports & Music
St. Vrain Valley Schools has been nationally recognized for supporting students with disabilities and our Unified programs. Unified programs use a collaborative approach to enrich student life, and entire school communities. Instead of guts, glory and trophies, think cooperation, generosity and even selflessness. The players – students with special needs – are shadowed during games and practice by non-disabled student “partners” who are there solely to coach and encourage them. Programs across the district include basketball, percussion, bowling, flag football, and soccer.
Supporting LGBTQ Students
St. Vrain has strong partnerships with local LGBTQ advocacy organizations and many policies and resource to support LGBTQ students.
Seal of Biliteracy
St. Vrain Valley Schools recognizes students who have studied and attained proficiency or higher in English and at least one other language with the Seal of Biliteracy. This award, given at graduation, provides students with a competitive advantage in the employment market as well as increased opportunities for higher education.
Increasing Diversity of Leadership, Administrators, Teachers, and Staff
Our human resources team continues to prioritize recruitment, hiring, and retention of a workforce that reflects the diversity of the communities we serve.
To ensure all students have access to high-quality learning devices, St. Vrain Valley Schools has implemented a 1:1 iPad program. Starting with middle school students in 2012 the program has now expanded to include students at all grade levels. Additionally, the district supports many initiatives to ensure that families have internet access at home.
Community Equity Partnerships
St. Vrain Valley Schools communicates and collaborates with several organizations and cultural brokers to take a collaborative and comprehensive approach to ensuring student safety, well-being, and success.
St. Vrain Valley Schools has a robust professional development program that includes equity training and other opportunities for teachers and staff to engage in learning on topics that will support the advancement of all students.
Advancing Excellence for Every Student
Across all schools in the St. Vrain Valley, our students are advancing excellence and will be the future leaders who will change our world. St. Vrain continues to focus on advancing the well-being and academic achievement of all students by implementing strategies that have closed the opportunity and achievement gaps. Highlights include:
- St. Vrain has the most robust Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) program in the state. P-TECH is a new type of school that brings together the best elements of high school, college and the professional world, allowing students to earn a high school diploma, as well an associate degree, at no cost to the student. In the past three years, 76 students have earned their associate degree in computer information systems, of which 72% were students of color, and most were first generation college students.
- St. Vrain is growing our own strong and diverse educator pipeline through our Pathways to Teaching (P-TEACH) program. The P-TEACH Program introduces St. Vrain high school students and classified staff to a career as an educator by offering a variety of concurrent enrollment courses, where students can earn up to 31 college credits from the University of Colorado Denver. Since 2019, 98 students have graduated from P-TEACH. Of these students, 53% of graduates have been first generation college students, 52% have been students of color, and 40% have been bilingual.
- All high school students can earn industry credentials, gain work experience, find mentors, and experience real-world learning in leading fast-growth industries at the Innovation Center and Career Elevation and Technology Center. Focus areas include: aeronautics, automotive technologies, biomedical engineering, robotics, entrepreneurship, advanced technologies, media production, health sciences, agricultural sciences, pre-law, advanced manufacturing, culinary arts, welding and fabrication technology, and more.
- St. Vrain has among the most rigorous graduation requirements in the state, giving students a strong advantage for postsecondary and career opportunities. St. Vrain’s four-year graduation rate is nearing 92%, an increase of approximately 16 percentage points since 2010 (at the same time graduation requirements increased). The district’s Hispanic graduate rate continues to increase at a faster rate than the district total, going from 55.9% in 2010 to 84% in 2021.
- All students have access to rigorous and advanced coursework, with a 51% increase in the number of AP exams taken in the past six years. Access to rigorous coursework has increased at a higher level for students of color, with a 74% increase of Black students taking AP exams in the past five years, a 57% increase of Hispanic students taking AP exams in the past six years, and a 48% increase of White students taking AP exams in the past five years. Additionally, St. Vrain decreases the gap between all students and Hispanic students taking advanced coursework by 12% over 7 years. St. Vrain Valley Schools was also one of four Colorado school districts and one of 373 nationwide to make the College Board’s Annual AP District Honor Roll for increasing access to AP courses for all students.
- In 2022, St. Vrain posted its highest third grade reading scores in the history of administering the CMAS assessment, and on fifth grade CMAS reading achievement, Hispanic students increased the percentage of students meeting or exceeding expectations by 10% over 5 years, while the state only increased by 2%.
- Over the past several years, St. Vrain has increased participation in Algebra 1 in 8th grade by 6% for all students and 7% for Hispanic students.
- The district’s drop out rate remains below 1%, currently at 0.7% for all students.
- Expulsion rates continue to decline significantly in the district from 40 expulsions in the 2011-2012 school year to 0 in the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 school year, and four in the 2020-2021 school year.
- Student engagement in athletics, arts, and co-curricular activities continues to increase with 74% of all students engaged in activities beyond the traditional school day, an increase of 18% over the past five years, the majority of which is reflective of increased participation of our students of color.
- To ensure all students have access to high-quality learning devices, St. Vrain Valley Schools has implemented a 1:1 iPad program. Starting with middle school students in 2012 the program has now expanded to include students at all grade levels. Additionally, the district supports many initiatives to ensure that all families have high-quality internet access at home.
- St. Vrain Valley Schools prioritizes parent, family, and community engagement, including the following committees and programs that include interpretation services: Leadership St. Vrain, Parent Diversity Committee, Community Equity Partnerships, Padres implicados en la educación (PIE), School-Hosted Cafecitos, twice annual Superintendent Town Hall meetings, and much more.
- St. Vrain Valley Schools has a robust professional development program that includes equity training and other opportunities for teachers and staff to engage in learning on topics that will support the advancement of all students.
- St. Vrain Valley Schools continues to win many large and competitive grants, nearing approximately $32 million in the past four years, including the recent announcement of a $1.44 million Expelled and At-Risk Student Services (EARSS) grant to support the success and advancement of students at Longs Peak Middle School, Sunset Middle School, and Frederick High School, as well as $2 million to support the district’s Project Launch, extended summer learning program, and $125,000 from Google to support the district’s P-TECH program.
(Data updated on 11/1/2022)
If you have questions about the equity, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.