Gahanna-Jefferson's Goshen Lane Elementary School is one of 37 Ohio schools that were recognized recently by the Ohio Department of Education for improving academic achievement among students, including many from economically disadvantaged homes.
The school qualified as a High Progress School of Honor by scoring in the top 10 percent of schools as ranked by gains in reading and mathematics combined proficiency in all tested grades for the past five years.
Goshen Lane also is in the top 10 percent for gains in graduation rate during the past five years.
The ODE also considers adequate yearly progress, value-added measures of student growth and local report card ratings when determining award selection.
"High Progress Schools of Honor establish an educational goal for their students and continue to pursue and exceed that goal each year," said Dr. Richard A. Ross, superintendent of public instruction. "The principals, teachers, parents and community members provide a high-quality education and believe that children can overcome significant challenges and that they can learn."
Goshen Lane principal Melanie McGue said steady progress has been made in academic achievement over the past three years.
Goshen Lane's performance index score, which is calculated by the number of students scoring at levels of achievement, has increase from 88.6 in 2009 to 99.2 in 2013. Additionally, marked increases have occurred in reading and math achievement in fourth and fifth grade.
"Goshen Lane staff attributes this change to many factors, such as increased instructional support for students, a focused approach to instructional delivery, use of technology and consistent teacher collaboration," McGue said. "The Goshen Lane staff continues to focus our work as we transition to the Common Core curriculum and the upcoming PARCC assessments in 2015 in order to provide the best education for our students."
Gahanna-Jefferson Superintendent Francis Scruci said he's really happy about the school's success.
"A round of applause to Goshen Lane," he said. "This is just another example of all the great things happening throughout our district. It's a true compliment to what the teachers are doing in the classroom. In areas of poverty, a lot of times students are coming to school hungry, making learning a difficult challenge. Hats off to Goshen."
As an incentive to help close achievement gaps in Ohio, the Ohio Department of Education developed the Schools of Promise program to identify, recognize and highlight schools that are making substantial progress in ensuring high achievement for all students.
This year, 37 High Progress Schools of Honor were recognized. The ODE previously recognized 141 Schools of Promise and 37 High Performing Schools of Honor.
The Schools of Honor initiative builds upon and expands the ODE's existing Schools of Promise program. The U.S. Department of Education approved the new Schools of Honor program as part of Ohio's flexibility waiver for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in 2012.