West Side News

Harmon Elementary earns SOAR Award from Battelle


Harmon Elementary is among 15 Ohio schools to receive a 2012 Battelle for Kids High Progress School SOAR Award.

To receive the award, a school must be among the top schools of the 830 participating in Battelle's SOAR (Schools Online Achievement Reports) project demonstrating exceptional growth with their students.

Battelle's SOAR program tracks the progress of students over time. It was began in 2002 as a statewide pilot program to introduce value-added analysis to participating school districts and demonstrate how schools and their teachers can use value-added data to improve student learning.

The awards are given annually and include honors for individual schools and awards for districts showing significant progress and most improvement.

For grades 4-8, math and reading data from the 2011-12 school year was used to determine this year's award-winners.

"We're very proud to receive this award," Harmon Principal Michael Wang said. "The value-added data shows that our students are exceeding one year's expected growth. We're not just looking for our students to achieve the minimum. We want them to excel."

Harmon has earned an "excellent" rating on the state report card for the last three years, he said.

"It's a tribute to the effort by our teachers, staff, parents and students," Wang said.

The South-Western board of education will recognize Harmon's achievement at its Dec. 10 meeting.