One of the most important things to families relocating to an area are the schools. Data released last Friday shows fairly strong academic performance in both Durango and Bayfield while Ignacio lagged behind. The Colorado Student Assessment Program, a series of tests given to children in grades three through 10 each fall, form the backbone of how the state measures public schools performance. In both the Durango School District and the Bayfield School District 97 percent of 10th graders kept up with reading standards. The statewide average was 93 percent. Our schools measure up.
While important, school statistics are not the only measurement of the suitability of a community for raising a family. In small towns it seems that youth programs are a larger part of the overall lifestyle. Young people and their achievements are recognized. Last week, for example, the La Plata County Fair featured 4-H and FFA exhibitors. The Durango Herald's Friday front page was a photo and article of the sheep competition. Saturday's front page was a photo and article on the market swine grand champion and Sunday's front page was the market beef grand champion. We're talking FRONT PAGE. Our youth are important.
In a small community the kids get coverage. When the Durango swim team competes, it's news. Football, basketball, volleyball, softball, soccer - girls and boys, its all supported by the community. Whatever the activity, from sports to high school theater and musicals, our kids are recognized and supported. A "good education" is more than just school stats.