Time running out for underperforming Aurora Central High School to turn things around

Posted at 12:49 PM, Apr 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-12 22:26:36-04

AURORA, Colo. – Time is running out for an underperforming Aurora school to avoid closure or charter status.

Aurora Central High School is one of 12 Colorado schools that failed to meet basic education standards and was placed on a six-year probationary period.

That time has now come, and the school is meeting Wednesday with the State Board of Education to discuss ways it can improve.

The Aurora school has a long way to go to turn things around.

Less than half of Central seniors graduate each year, and research has uncovered chronic absenteeism is a problem for nearly two-thirds of all students. The same number of students aren't proficient in reading, and 90 percent of the student population isn't proficient in math.

"They don't really help the students, the counselors don't really do nothing to help the students, you have to really go to the counselors, they don't really come to you. The senior stuff you have to find out yourself," Donnell Alexander, an Aurora Central High School senior, said, noting students feel like they're on their own. 

Aurora Central implemented innovation this school year, but now may have to add a management team. The Board of Education may decide it has to do even more to avoid closure or becoming a charter school.

"We have a sense of urgency that is extremely important to make a difference for our kids right now," Lamont Browne, of Aurora Public Schools, said, saying both Central and West high schools have all the skills they need to be prepared. 

Wednesday's meeting ended with a unanimous vote to continue with innovation zone plans. That will allow the school to attempt new methods to continue attempting to provide targeted support to students.

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