We remain home to one of the state’s largest achievement gaps between Latino and Anglo students. The disparities start early, before children even enter school.
St. Vrain Valley School District is experiencing record student growth, at a rate more than three times that of the Boulder Valley School District. St. Vrain also consists of a higher percentage of Latino students and students on Free and Reduced Lunch. Recruiting more teachers of color is a persistent need across the county.
One in three students in St. Vrain Valley is a student of color, but only one in 14 teachers are teachers of color. Narrowing this demographic gap would lead a greater share of students of color to naturally identify with and view their teachers as mentors.
Latino students are under-enrolled in Advanced Placement courses across Boulder County. Also, Boulder Valley offers three times more AP classes than St. Vrain, in part because demand is higher in Boulder Valley, where more students come from more educated and wealthier families.
Third grade reading proficiency is a key predictor for success in school and in life. Yet, less than half of third-graders in St. Vrain Valley met grade-level expectations in English Language Arts in 2016. This is largely due to St. Vrain’s higher percentages of Latino and low-income students scoring on par with state averages. Large achievement gaps persist in both districts.
Full-day kindergarten offerings have steadily increased in Boulder County since 2008. St. Vrain Valley now offers full-day Kindergarten at all of its elementary schools. Boulder Valley offers full-day Kindergarten at the eight elementary schools with the highest poverty levels.
High school graduation rates are up for Latino and low-income students, but that doesn’t mean they’re prepared for college. The majority of Boulder County’s Latino high school graduates and about half of low-income graduates must take remedial courses upon enrolling in post-secondary education.
Boulder County’s female and Anglo high school grads fare better in college than their male and Latino peers. Of those who graduated high school in 2012 and stayed in state for college, 2 out of every 5 women got their degree by 2016. Latinos during the same period received degrees at half that rate.
Latino students and those from low-income families remain significantly more disadvantaged academically than their Anglo and more financially well-off peers. Across the county and the state, only one out of every four Latino and low-income students reads proficiently.