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We're World Class: PISA proves it

PISA logo

DOUGLAS COUNTY – Recently students at a number of our high schools took the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). Not only did our schools perform better than schools in the United States, they beat Finland-- which is often regarded as an international leader. 

PISA focuses on skills that 15-year-olds have acquired both inside and outside of the classroom. The test assesses not only what students know, but also how well they are able to reflect on and apply their knowledge to real-life situations.

Highlands Ranch and Ponderosa high schools recently received PISA results from the most recent assessment, which was conducted in 2012. PISA focuses on reading, math and science. 

When compared to the 34 countries involved in the PISA assessment, Highlands Ranch High School’s average scores are higher than national and international schools participating in the test. Ponderosa High School had similar results.

“We want to make sure students are really prepared on a world stage and that is why we like the PISA test,” said DCSD Superintendent Dr. Liz Fagen. “If you look at DCSD scores against the rest of the country, we’ve done some really interesting things and may be performing better than Finland in some of our high schools – a country that is often regarded as one of the international leaders.”

A school’s average performance is reported as higher or lower than the average score of a given comparison group if there is a 95% level of confidence. PISA was first administered in 2000 and is conducted every three years. Schools have the choice to opt-in to the test. 

View results for Highlands Ranch High School

View results for Ponderosa High School

August 14, 2014 | By SCPaulsen | Category: Communications

District News

On February 9 the PACE Center hosted Portfolio Day for students like Sladovnik. It was an opportunity for critiques from working professional artists, and workshops. It culminates in the "Bright Futures" art exhibit - a showcase of selected work on display February 16-27.

Last month, the Board of Education passed a resolution tasking the Superintendent to convene a task force inclusive of members of the general public and staff members. This task force will develop a survey for parents of students eligible for special education services and a survey for staff members who serve students eligible for special education services.

Board members sitting at the dais

CASTLE ROCK - On February 6, the Douglas County School District (DCSD) Board of Education confirmed its commitment to begin the process of seeking approval from voters for additional local funding.

“Our children need a bond and mill levy override (MLO) to be passed in 2018, beyond any doubt,” said DCSD Board of Education President David Ray. “We want to move forward immediately with the necessary processes and collaboration with our community in order to finalize a formal funding package.”