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Mission StatementYá’át’ééh! We are located in the Navajo Nation of Arizona, and we are very proud of our heritage. It is our privilege and honor to be in the position to accompany our children on their journey to great heights and solid futures. As you browse through our website, we know you’ll catch our enthusiasm and appreciate our awe-inspiring past, present, and future. We believe that, together, we can accomplish great things!

SuperintendentSuperintendent Message

Kayenta Unified School District Community,

I am writing today to share some information on AzMerit testing and the Arizona College and Career Readiness Standards.

To provide a little background, the Arizona College and Career Readiness Standards (AzCCRS) for reading and math set higher expectations for students. The standards differ from previous standards.  The standards focus on rigor, critical thinking, deeper understanding and problem solving which requires a different approach to instruction. These standards are reflected in the new state assessment, AzMERIT. 

The expectations for student achievement are higher on the AzMERIT than they used to be with the previous AIMS state assessment. A passing score on AzMERIT will mean a student is on track for college or career upon graduation and is a higher expectation for a passing score than AIMS. Higher expectations mean that there may be a decline in the number of students passing AzMERIT as compared to AIMS. A lower score on AzMERIT does not necessarily mean that a student is performing below average in school. It also does not mean that teachers are doing a poor job of teaching. It is more likely the result of the increased rigor of the standards and the higher expectations for a passing score. As we saw with AIMS, we expect that the scores on AzMERIT will increase over time.

The AzMERIT score reports will identify a student’s areas of strength and weakness. This information will inform teaching so that students who are not yet passing AzMERIT can rise to that expectation more quickly.  The scores represent a new baseline from which our students will continue to grow as well as provide a more accurate indicator for educators, students, and parents. Our schools are working to make sure that students meet the challenge of the AzCCRS standards and succeed in high school and beyond.

This is a major shift for our students and teachers.  We have high expectations for our students and are confident in our teachers who are helping students grow academically in these areas, along with other subjects.  We are better preparing our students to meet the demands of college and the 21st century workforce. Our teachers and administrators are committed to working together to support students with great instruction and resources to meet these expectations.

Thank you for your continued support of the Kayenta Unified School District.

Dr. Bryce Anderson, Superintendent of Schools


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