Reynoldsburg News

School of Promise

Stellar scores on report card earn Slate Ridge state recognition

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Slate Ridge Elementary School second-grade teacher Becky Hammond looks at a book with second-grader Gabe Perdomo at the library Friday, April 12. Slate Ridge was named a "School of Promise" by the state for the third year.

Slate Ridge Elementary School was named a School of Promise for the third year, thanks to students' stellar academic results on state achievement tests.

Principal Sue Martin said Schools of Promise are recognized for "closing the achievement gaps for economically disadvantaged and minority students."

"School of Promise is a great honor," she said. "The Slate Ridge staff is a wonderful team of extraordinary educators. It's an honor for me to work with them."

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Richard Ross, a former Reynoldsburg district superintendent, announced last week that 164 schools in Ohio were named Schools of Promise, based on the 2011-12 state report cards.

He said the program recognizes schools that attain solid achievements in reading and mathematics while serving a student body where 40 percent or more qualify for free or reduced-price meals.

To earn the award, 75 percent or more of a school's students, including those in minority subgroups, must score proficient or better on the statewide math and reading tests.

"Our Schools of Promise do not let circumstance determine outcomes and do not let obstacles keep them from providing a quality education," Ross said in announcing the awards.

Slate Ridge earned a rating of excellent on the latest state report card, achieved a Performance Index Score of 104.9, met Adequate Yearly Progress benchmarks for student subgroups and met Value Added, which measures whether students achieve a year's academic growth in a year's time.

Martin said the fact that a student is in a certain subgroup is not an excuse for lower expectations.

"We continually monitor student achievement and provide immediate target intervention," she said. "We also meet with parents when determining intervention plans. Parents are an important part of each child's educational team."

She said the culture at Slate Ridge is "high expectations for all."

"It's important that the expectations are clear to everyone," she said. "We also recognize when expectations are met and gains toward goals are achieved.

"I think our school atmosphere is pleasant, accepting, and the kids feel safe and cared about," she said. "This is important in order for the most effective teaching and learning to take place."

She said the school population has higher poverty rates than it did last year, but the test scores were evidence that students who are economically disadvantaged can achieve as well as students who are not.