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How some 'C' schools became 'A' schools in Arizona

Arizona recently released its latest letter grades for public schools throughout the state.

PHOENIX — Some Arizona school districts are celebrating the results of the state's latest letter grades after several schools reported improvements on Arizona's grading scale. 

The A-F letter grading system is required under Arizona law and is used to assess academic growth and student proficiency in various subjects. 

Arizona lawmakers paused the grading system during the pandemic but the 2021-2022 grade results have been released and reveal how schools have performed over the last couple of years. 

Buckeye Elementary School District had multiple schools move up a couple of letter grades this year. Westpark Elementary notably advanced from a "C" to an "A" school. 

Other Buckeye schools advanced from "D" to "B" rankings. 

The district credits its improvements to the allocation of a Project Momentum grant, which allowed BESD to fund additional training and support for its staff.

“We knew we were heading in the right direction, and the validation provided by these letter grades is further reinforcement that we are on a path towards sustained academic excellence," Superintendent Kristi Wilson wrote in a statement.

Chaparral Elementary School in Phoenix also advanced from a "C" to an "A" ranking in the state's assessment. 

An A-level school is defined as having "distinguished performance on the statewide assessment, significant student growth, high four-year graduation rates, students on track to proficiency; overall performance is significantly higher than state average."

Save Our Schools Arizona described the latest school grades as "incredible" and noted the high number of schools that received "A" or "B" rankings.

Yuma Union High School District said it's proud of nearly all its schools earning a "B" grade in the latest rankings. A few years ago, most of Yuma's campuses were listed as "C" or "D" schools.

"Our district-wide graduation rate remains one of our proudest data points," YUHSD Superintendent Gina Thompson wrote in a statement. "We were trending in the right direction four years ago when the grades were last released, and we continue to show that improvement was more than a trend."

Dysart Unified School District said its amount of "A" schools doubled this year compared to 2019. 

A full list of the state's letter grades can be found here.

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