Only six schools in Franklin County were named Schools of Promise last week by the Ohio Department of Education and three of them are in Reynoldsburg.
BELL Academy, (HS)2 Academy and Slate Ridge Elementary School were honored Oct. 16 for stellar performance by all students and student subgroups on Ohio Achievement Tests and Ohio Graduation Tests.
Superintendent Steve Dackin said this is the fourth consecutive year for Slate Ridge to receive a School of Promise award.
Slate Ridge was also the only school in Franklin County to receive the ODE's first High- Performing School of Honor award.
The other schools in Franklin County that received Schools of Promise awards were Arts & College Preparatory, Columbus Preparatory Academy and Hamilton Township High School.
The School of Promise award is given to schools with 40 percent economically disadvantaged students who still manage to achieve 75 percent or higher scores on state math and reading tests -- by all students and students in low income and racial/ethnic subgroups.
The schools also must achieve a grade of A or B for narrowing performance gaps on the state report card and a graduation rate of A or B.
Criteria for the 2013 High-Performing Schools of Honor included student performance on the state achievement tests over a five-year period, with all students performing at 90 percent or better on aggregated tests.
Low-income, racial/ethnic, disability and English Language Learners (ELL) groups had to perform an aggregated 75 percent or better on the tests over a five-year period for a school to receive the Honor award.
"This is not a new story for us," Dackin said. "We do a very good job of working with all the kids who come to us. This award is in recognition of our teachers, support staff and principals' hard work and in recognition of the kids' hard work."
The state awarded the High-Performing School of Honor distinction to 37 schools around the state and named 141 Schools of Promise.
"This is a very special award for us to get, because it is only given to schools that make tremendous gains in achievement for student subgroups," Dackin said.
Sue Martin is principal at Slate Ridge; Erica Dodson is the BELL Academy principal and Anne Baldwin is principal at (HS)2 Academy.
"These schools overcome challenges, sometimes significant challenges to provide a high-quality education to Ohio children," said Richard A. Ross, superintendent of public instruction and a former Reynoldsburg superintendent.
"What these schools have done is working and I am urging them to help other Ohio schools learn how they can overcome their challenges as well," Ross said.
State officials said the Schools of Promise and High-Performing School of Honor awards recognize schools that attain solid student achievement in reading and mathematics while serving a significant number of economically disadvantaged students.