Two Coweta elementary schools named as 2017 Reward Schools
Elm Street Elementary School and White Oak Elementary School have been named as 2017 Title I Reward Schools by the Georgia Department of Education.
The two schools were recognized for high levels of student achievement sustained over a three year period, 2013 through 2015.
The state of Georgia recognizes a small number of Title I schools each year as Reward Schools, identifying them as either “High-Progress Schools” or “Highest-Performing Schools,” based on student academic performance.
As a Highest-Performing School, Elm Street Elementary has been recognized among the top five percent of the state’s Title I schools with the absolute highest performance, over three years, for the “all students” group on statewide assessments.
As a High-Progress School, White Oak Elementary has been recognized among the top 10 percent of the state’s Title I schools making the most progress in improving the performance of the “all students” group over three years on statewide assessments.
“These schools and districts are working against the odds to provide an excellent education for their students,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “This is so much more than numbers or data. We are talking about changed lives for thousands of students. I can’t overstate how proud I am of every teacher, administrator, and parent who worked to make that happen.”
Elm Street 2nd Grade teacher Sally Brass said that it has been exciting for everyone that their school was named in the highest-performing category. Elm Street has been named as a high-progress school twice in recent years, and Brass said that Elm Street’s success is a result of collaboration on the part of parents, students and teachers.
“With the amount of effort that is put in every day here I don’t think it is a surprise that our students have exceeded expectations,” said Brass. “But it is very nice to have everyone’s hard work recognized.”
Elm Street Principal Christi Hildebrand credits the school’s success to several factors, particularly strategies to encourage the development of higher-order thinking skills in students, as well as a school-wide commitment to encouraging excellence in students.
“We really do have high expectations for all of our students,” said Hildebrand. “We expect everyone to excel, and we give student the opportunities and support they need to meet those expectations.”
White Oak Elementary School Principal Andy Clarke sees some of the same elements at play in his school’s recognition.
“Small group strategies and a focus on reading has helped,” said Clarke, as has a focus on individual student needs and providing all students with support and enrichment opportunities, he said. “But being named a high-progress school is above all a result of our parents, teachers and students working together and the high level of collaboration at our school.”
Elm Street Elementary School teacher Sally Brass, left, and principal Christi Hildebrand, right, work with students in Brass’s 2nd grade classroom. Elm Street and White Oak Elementary Schools have been named as 2017 Title I Reward Schools by the Georgia Department of Education.