Garrettsville – The strongest structures are those built with the strongest foundation. The same is true for education. Student success is often predicated on a strong foundation of literacy and mathematics. James A. Garfield Elementary has always provided students with a strong academic foundation, and Ohio recently affirmed this effort. Last week the state of Ohio recognized James A. Garfield Elementary students, teachers, staff, administration and community for maintaining high academic achievement among their students, including many from economically disadvantaged circumstances that can make learning difficult. They were named a School of Promise as well as a High Performing School of Honor.
The awards are extremely prestigious. There were only 98 Schools of Promise and 48 High Performing Schools of Honor from around the entire state. Each program has different criteria.
To qualify as a School of Promise, a building must meet these criteria:
• Eighty percent or more of students in grades that took the 2013-2014 Ohio Achievement Assessments must have rated Proficient in reading and math, including economically disadvantaged.
• Score an Ohio School Report Card grade of A or B on their Annual Measurable Objective, to narrow performance gaps between student groups.
• Receive an A, B or C on student learning progress through the school year and a grade of A or B on high school graduation rate, if they were high schools.
• Serve at least 40 percent economically disadvantaged students (JAG Elementary currently serves 41%).
The Schools of Honor initiative builds on the Schools of Promise program, recognizing schools that exceed Schools of Promise criteria. To be a High Performing School of Honor, a school must:
• Be Title 1 eligible and serve 40 percent or more economically disadvantaged students.
• Have 90 percent or more of all students score Proficient on the Ohio Achievement Assessments over the last five years.
• Have 80 percent of all groups of students (economically disadvantaged, students with disabilities) who are Proficient.
• Show progress in meeting Annual Measurable Objectives and student learning progress over a five-year period.
High Progress Schools of Honor are buildings that have made the greatest five-year gains.
We should all be very proud of our students, staff and administrators. This award affirms what we have known for some time. Our teachers work hard to foster great relationships with kids. They use data to help learn about student strengths and weaknesses and then work together to make sure all students grow. This, coupled with the support of a great community and parents is an obvious recipe for success. Congratulations to James A. Garfield Elementary School staff, students and administrators on their phenomenal work.