Joe Schmitt writes a weekly blog called The Good Life, featuring information about the region’s history, culture, climate and economy. The blog also showcases new residents, clubs and organizations, outdoor recreational opportunities and local events.
Three central Washington schools are among 99 being honored statewide with the 2013 School of Distinction Award, which recognizes outstanding improvement in student achievement during the past five years.
The five area schools named for 2013 are:
• East Valley School District’s Moxee Elementary School, which is receiving a School of Distinction Award for the first time.
• Union Gap School, which also received a School of Distinction Award in 2012.
• West Valley School District’s Wide Hollow Elementary, which previously received a School of Distinction Award in 2010 and was similarly honored for being among the state’s top 5 percent of most improved schools in 2009.
The Schools of Distinction Award goes to the top 5 percent of Washington schools that have attained the most outstanding levels of reading and math improvement among their students over the past five years. Levels of student achievement are calculated from test scores collected in the state’s Measurements of Student Progress for elementary schools (grades 3, 4 and 5) and for middle schools (grades 6, 7, and 8). High school performances are based on 10th grade scores in the High School Proficiency Exam for Reading, combined with end-of-course math results.
The winners throughout the state of Washington for this year include 54 elementary schools, 21 middle schools or junior high schools, and 21 high schools, plus one combined elementary-middle school and two combined middle-high schools.
To be eligible for the School of Distinction Award, a school must perform at or above the state median in grades 3-5 (for elementary schools), grades 6-8 (for middle schools), or grade 10 (for high schools) in state reading and math assessments.
Each school will be formally honored by their local Educational Service District with a plaque and banner during special assemblies that will be scheduled during the next several weeks. (West Valley’s Wide Hollow Elementary has already scheduled its ceremony for Thursday, Oct. 17, at 3:00 p.m.)
The Schools of Distinction awards have been presented since 2007 to recognize the highest improving schools in the state of Washington. The program was originated by Washington’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and is now presented by a group of organizations that includes the Center for Educational Effectiveness, the Association of Educational Service Districts, the Association of Washington School Principals, the Washington Association of School Administrators, and the Washington State School Directors’ Association.