State honors #8216;Schools of Promise#039;

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 14, 2005

Educators believe it was work - teamwork and hard work - that helped elevate seven Lawrence County schools to the top of their class.

Four elementaries and three high schools were among the 113 Ohio schools honored recently by the Ohio Department of Education as 2005 &#8221Schools of Promise.“ Honorees are Chesapeake Elementary, Dawson-Bryant Elementary and Dawson-Bryant High School, Ironton High School, Whitwell Elementary, Rock Hill High School and Burlington Elementary.

&#8221Our Schools of Promise prove that students can meet and exceed high standards and expectations, no matter where they live or how wealthy their families are,“ State Superintendent Susan Tave Zelman said. &#8221Good teaching, committed leadership and a positive school culture can help all students succeed.“

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The program recognizes schools that demonstrate high achievement in reading and mathematics for all groups of students, despite the fact that 40 percent or more of these students come from low-income backgrounds.

Students in these schools met or exceeded the state standard of 75 percent passage in reading or mathematics or both.

&#8221It comes from the hard work and the teamwork of the teachers. They work together and I give them the credit,“ said Mark Christian, principal of Burlington Elementary, which was honored for reading and math - the third straight time and one of only 12 to earn the honor three times.

&#8221The teachers are the ones in the trenches doing the job. They are creative, come up with lots of ideas and just care a lot. We try to make it fun for the kids.“

Christian called the honor a &#8221giant team effort“ that has been accomplished in part by focusing on lots of little things that add up. Christian also praised the district support and push for curriculum coordination.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Whitwell Elementary and Ironton High School were each honored for the first time. Both performed well in reading.

&#8221I am thrilled with it,“ said Sharon Cramblit, third grade teacher. &#8221We had a group of kids that worked really hard. The honor is theirs. I'm just thrilled.“

The state honor shows hard work does pay off, she said.

&#8221We put a lot of pride into our school here. When you are recognized for your hard, it does lift the morale of the staff and the students. It does for me anyway. We are like a family here, a family atmosphere. We all work together.“

IHS Principal Joe Rowe agreed that teamwork and hard work made the difference.

&#8221All the credit goes to the teachers who are in the trenches educating and to the students.“ Rowe said.

Eighty-two schools met the award criteria in reading, 10 in mathematics, and 21 in both reading and mathematics. Five schools are Schools of Promise for the fourth time; 12 were identified for the third time; and another 30 received recognition for the second time.

Dawson-Bryant Elementary was one of those honored for the third time, this time for math. The high school earned its second honor, for both reading and math.

&#8221The teachers have really worked hard. Part of my job as principal is to provide them the resources they need to do their job and then get out of the way,“ Dawson-Bryant High School Principal Steve Easterling said.

&#8221Š And we have good students. The students really want to do well.“

Chesapeake Elementary and Rock Hill High School were each honored for the second time, both in reading.

Zelman shared five themes that are common among past and present Schools of Promise: These schools deliver rigorous instruction aligned to the standards, provide leadership that results in continuous improvement of instruction, design instruction to ensure every student's success, engage parents and the community to support student success, a culture where each individual feels valued.