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Post Middle School among Schools of Distinction
OLYMPIA — Post Middle School Principal Brian Beckley accepted the “School of Distinction” award from Superintendent Terry Bergeson Oct. 22 on behalf of Post Middle School staff and students.
The Arlington Middle School was among 98 schools recognized for outstanding academic growth that received the 2008 State Superintendent’s Learning Improvement Award and the designation of “School of Distinction.”
Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction Bergeson presented the awards before an audience of more than 400 principals, superintendents, teachers and parents at Garfield High School in Seattle.
Beckley was accompanied by teaching staff Denise Jackson, Sherry Anderson, Andrea English and Kari Macneill as well as Arlington School Board President Kay Duskin, Superintendent Kristine McDuffy, Deputy Superintendent Warren Hopkins and Director of Teaching and Learning Diane Kirchner-Scott and parent/volunteer Kristy Ewell.
“This award celebrates the real gains these schools have made, gains that aren’t recognized by the federal No Child Left Behind law or its ‘Adequate Yearly Progress’ calculations,” Bergeson said.
To be considered for the award, each school had to exceed the state average performance in 4th-, 7th- or 10th-grade reading and math, as measured by the spring 2008 Washington Assessment of Student Learning.
Schools that met the average performance requirements were then evaluated for WASL performance during the last six years. Results in grades four, seven and 10 were evaluated because those are the only grade levels with six years of trend data. The top 5 percent of elementary, middle and high schools, as well as alternative schools, were given awards.
This year’s honorees included 53 elementary schools, 21 middle schools, 20 high schools and seven alternative schools — out of nearly 2,500 schools in the state. Three schools were awarded for achievement at more than one grade level. A total of 89 schools won last year, the first year the award was given.
School leaders from each of the winning schools were presented with a plaque and a large banner reading “School of Distinction – 2008 State Superintendent’s Learning Improvement Award.
The 98 schools share common strategies for increasing student success:
n Teachers are continuously studying and establishing best practices.
n The staff is committed to building strong ‘school families’ that include all students.
n The staff is committed to the success of every single student.
n The community is an active partner with the school.
“Schools have taken varied paths on their road to success,” Bergeson said.
“Whatever the path, it’s readily apparent that schools are succeeding. You can see it in the hard work and dedication of students, teachers, administrators, support staff, parents and community members. Their success gives us hope that someday all students can succeed. It won’t be easy — there will be bumps along the way. But the payoff — an educated and well-informed citizenry — is the most precious resource in any democracy.”