LIMA —Many pieces go into determining whether a pupil finds academic success, and Superintendent Dale Lewellen believes it’s why both Bath's elementary and high schools landed on the state’s Schools of Promise list Tuesday.
“Our teachers and our families and our community all do good work at caring for the kids,” Lewellen said. “It comes down to attention to individual differences in the students and what their needs are. It comes down to communication with families and the families' involvement and participation in their children’s academics, and that all works well in this district.”
Several area schools are among 164 around the state to be named Schools of Promise based on their 2011-2012 report cards. Joining Bath were Allen East Elementary, Delphos Jefferson Middle School, Kenton High School, Continental Elementary and Van Wert’s Jefferson Elementary School.
The award program recognizes schools attaining solid student achievement in reading and mathematics while serving a significant number of economically disadvantaged students.
“Our Schools of Promise do not let circumstance determine outcomes and do not let obstacles keep them from providing a quality education,” said Richard Ross, state superintendent of public instruction. “Our Schools of Promise prove that there’s no reason why Ohio cannot be a national leader in providing a high-quality education in every district for every child.”
This is the first time Allen East has received the honor. Principal Larry Altenburger said teachers have high expectations of pupils and that the school puts a lot of focus on the state standards and tests.
“I think it has to do with teachers working really well with the students and the parents,” Altenburger said. “Between the three of them, they do a super job at working very hard toward learning.”
At the Schools of Promise, 75 percent or more of students score proficient or better on statewide achievement tests in reading and mathematics. The selected schools also are addressing achievement gaps, because the 75 percent proficiency measure applies to students in subgroups of 10 or more defined by race and economics. Schools of Promise have 40 percent or more of their students eligible for free or reduced-price meals.
Lewellen said Bath has continued to be consistent academically but that changes in how families qualify for free and reduced meals have showed a truer picture of the district. Applying for the meals is more discreet and confidential, he said, leading to more families taking advantage of the program.
To be selected for Schools of Promise status, school buildings also must meet or exceed the expected growth for their students using the value-added measure for the most recent year. High schools also must have had an 85 percent graduation rate.
School of Promise