Seven schools named Schools of Promise

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Seven Lawrence County schools have been named "Schools of Promise" by the Ohio Department of Education.

Burlington Elementary, Chesapeake Elementary School, Chesapeake Middle School, Dawson- Bryant Middle School, Dawson-Bryant High School, Rock Hill High School and South Point Elementary were among 102 schools statewide given the designations because of improved educational scores. The announcements of the state's designation came last week.

The state honors schools each year that "are making substantial progress in ensuring high achievement for all students," according to the "Schools of Promise" Web site.

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"We are tickled and excited," Dawson-Bryant High School co-principal Brenda Haas said.

"This has been an accumulation of work over a period of years. This wasn't done in a year. We've used data we've gathered on each student to see where that student's strengths and weaknesses are and then come up with a positive plan to address the needs of each student. …

and then, too, all the districts in the county are also working together. Last year we had a Math Academy and this year we're having a Science Academy. This way we share ideas."

"I think the changes that we've made show that we're going in the right direction," Dawson-Bryant co-principal Steve Easterling said. "The teachers are working hard and so are the students."

Burlington Elementary School Principal Mark Christian said much of the credit for his school's award can be attributed to emphasis on curriculum alignment, intensive intervention for students displaying poor academic performance and rewarding students who make an effort and excel.

"Last year we logged 427.2 hours of intervention," Christian said. "This does not include intervention during the After School Mall. This was during school from the time they got here in the morning until the time the buses rolled out. We've been doing a lot of intervention. The teachers have even pulled some kids in at recess to help them.

"Then, too, our curriculum coordinator Mrs. York has worked with teachers to align the curriculum from one

grade level to the next, to make sure everything is gradual and progressive and everyone knows what area they teach.

…We also have some new computer programs and the kids love them: accelerated reader, failure free reading, those are a couple. Every angle we could try, we have."

Schools were selected based on several criteria, such as meeting the

Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) requirements on the state report card; having at least 5 students who were supposed to graduate in 2002-2003, the school met the AYP graduation rate criterion of 73.6 percent; having at least 40 percent of the students in the school meet low-income criteria based on 2003-2004 data; having at least 75 percent (and at least 85 percent for cumulative results on the Ninth Grade Ohio Proficiency Test by the end of grade 10) of the students in each of the tested grade levels (3, 4, 6, 10) in the school pass the 2003-2004 Ohio Proficiency Test in reading or mathematics and the Ohio Achievement Test in reading; and having at least 50 percent of the students in each of the tested grade levels in the school pass the 2002-2003 Ohio Proficiency Test in reading or mathematics.