Green High School also named School of Promise

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 29, 2004

GREEN TOWNSHIP - Strength doesn't always come in huge numbers. Sometimes it comes in the form of a small community institution with big dreams and the determination to succeed.

Green High School in Scioto County was among 102 institutions statewide designated "Schools of Promise" by the Ohio Department of Education in 2004. Each year, the state recognizes elementary, middle and high schools across Ohio that have demonstrated high achievement scores on math and reading examinations.

"It's just a tribute to our teachers, students and community," Dave Hopper, principal of Green High School, said. "We have a unique district. It's small, but everyone is doing their part to make the school the best it can be."

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Hopper explained that his school's district lacked an upper socioeconomic class. For that reason, students seemed to interact on a more level playing field, without feeling the need to compete. Instead, they turn attention to academics and subsequently succeed because of the specialized attention they received from teachers.

"A lot of good things happen when people work together," Hopper said.

Working together has consisted of a variety of programs, including after-school and peer tutoring, Hopper said. The aim of these activities has been to identify weaknesses and to align curriculum accordingly for the approximately 360 students attending Green High. Like other schools, Green High faces budget concerns, but Hopper said they do the best they can with the resources at their disposal.

According to Ohio Department of Education's 2003-2004 Schools of Promise report, the hard work has not been in vain. On the Ohio Proficiency Test, Green High School 10th grade students had a 95.38 percent passage rate on the reading portion of the exam and 92.31 percent passage for the math section.

"He (Hopper) is such a great leader," David Shoupe, a physical education and health teacher, said. "He has been so influential in moving this school forward. We're lucky because we have some really motivated kids and the same motivated leadershipŠ

"Comparing ourselves to other schools has been a problem, but it's all about realizing our own self worth. We are important," Shoupe said.

Shoupe's colleague Cynthia Parker said she emphasizes that message when she talks to her students.

"Here at Green, every child has a future," Parker, an intervention specialist, said. "ŠAs long as they do their best, they can be anything they want to be. I grew up in this community, too. I tell students, 'You can make something of yourself. You are the author of your own life.'"

For Green High School teachers, the School of Promise designation is affirmation that they are doing something right.

Teachers said they are especially appreciative of the community for its continued support and involvement through volunteering and booster clubs.

"It's a nice pat on the back," Michelle Singleton, freshman/junior English teacher, said. "It lets us know we're doing a good job and it's a tremendous honor. We have really good students and teachers. It has been a team effort all the way."

Schools were selected based on several criteria, such as meeting the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) requirements on the state report card; having at least five 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.

Other schools in Scioto County recognized as Schools of Promise were Glenwood High, Sciotoville Community and Portsmouth West Elementary. Lawrence County Schools of Promise were Chesapeake Elementary, Chesapeake Middle, Dawson-Bryant Middle, Dawson-Bryant High, Rock Hill Senior High, Burlington Elementary and South Point Elementary.