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Information about Keeling's Letter Grade

October 15, 2018


Dear Keeling Families,


On Oct. 5, the Arizona State Board of Education publicly released a letter grade (A-F) for all schools in Arizona. These letter grade scores were calculated using the results of the AzMERIT tests and other data from the 2017-18 school year.


Based on the State of Arizona’s A-F Accountability System, Keeling’s letter grade is a “C”.


I would like to provide you with some background information that is useful in understanding our school’s letter grade, and I would also like to tell you about some of the district’s plans for the future.


Every elementary, middle, and high school in the state receives a letter grade each year. The State Board of Education sets cut scores, which determine the letter grade. These are set on a bell curve, which means the state sets a certain number of A’s, B’s, C’s, D’s and F’s.


Preliminary information based on the State Board of Education’s cut scores for this year leads the Arizona School Board to estimate the following: 17% of K-12 schools will earn an “A,” 34% will earn a “B,” 37% will receive a “C,” 9% will receive a “D,” and 3% will receive an “F” grade.


The state’s definition of this letter grade is:


“C” – Performing: Adequate performance but needs improvement on some indicators – proficiency or growth or graduation rate.


Understanding How the Letter Grades are Calculated


The State of Arizona assigned letter grades for K-12 schools is based on a complex formula which examines four measures of school performance, weighted for grades K-8 as follows:



Student Growth: Student growth on AzMERIT English Language Arts and Math in two categories: Student Growth Percentiles (compared to “like” performing peers) and Student Growth to Target


Student Proficiency: Student proficiency (passing) on AzMERIT English Language Arts, Math, and AIMS Science


English Language Learners’ growth and proficiency as measured by performance on AZELLA


Acceleration and Readiness Measures, which consists of several measures including chronic absenteeism and the improved growth of subgroups (economically disadvantaged, special education, etc.).



It is important to emphasize that in the A-F Accountability System, 50% of the letter grade is based on student growth on AzMERIT English Language Arts and Math. The higher the proficiency scores, the more of a challenge it is to show growth. In addition to these percentages, bonus points are given for things like science proficiency and special education inclusion.


Although we recognize and appreciate the importance of measuring student achievement through quantitative data, we believe in a variety of other important factors that contribute to a positive and successful school environment.


To that end, Amphitheater Public Schools has developed a Five-Year Strategic Plan that contains many goals for helping the district continue to grow and excel. Included in the Strategic Plan is the Portrait of a Graduate.


The portrait provides a vision of the skills and qualities our Amphi graduates will have obtained during their K-12 experience with us. Areas of emphasis are Academic Content, Communication, Critical Thinking, Creative Thinking, Caring, Problem-Solving, Citizenship and Collaboration. We believe that ensuring our students grow in these areas is the best way to prepare for college, career and the world beyond high school.


Amphitheater Public Schools takes great pride in the academic achievement of all students. Our teachers, staff, and the entire Amphi family are committed to students’ success and preparing them for their futures. Additional information regarding the State of Arizona accountability and school grading system is available on the Amphitheater Public Schools website: You are welcome to contact me directly at 520-696-6944 should you have further questions or concerns regarding our academic success.


In partnership,

Annette Orelup

Keeling Principal