Norwalk Reflector: Pleasant Elementary, Edison Middle schools honored by ODE
The Ohio Department of Education has honored two local schools for their academic achievements during the 2017-2018 year.
Edison Middle School has earned the Momentum Award, which is in its fourth year of being distributed.
To qualify, schools must earn straight A’s on all value-added measures on their state report card. According to the ODE, “the calculation is designed to estimate the influence that school districts and buildings have on the academic progress rates of student populations from year to year” and more specifically, “the value-added effects” for each subject and grade on which students are tested.
Also honored was Pleasant Elementary in Norwalk, which was named a 2018 High Progress School of Honor.
As a Title I-eligible school serving 40 percent or more economically disadvantaged students, Pleasant achieved performance gains in English language arts and math in the 90th percentile statewide over the last five years among all students. It also had graduation gains in the 90th percentile statewide over the same time period.
Norwalk City Schools Superintendent George Fisk said it’s a “great recognition of the dedication and teamwork between our staff and students to improve the educational programming for all students at Pleasant Elementary.”
Tess Elshoff, state board of education president, praised both schools in individual letters.
To Pleasant and Principal Janice Smith, she said she was “thrilled to share some exciting news that demonstrates your team’s commitment to high expectations and its drive to enhance the teaching and learning experience.”
“I extend my gratitude for the passion your education team members bring to their roles each day. At the heart of every child’s story is a caring educator who holds the profound belief that success belongs to all students. This award reflects your school’s commitment to ensuring all kids are ready for their futures,” Elshoff wrote.
Smith said she is proud of “the Pleasant family” for the achievement.
“We have an amazing, dedicated, committed staff (members) who believe all students can achieve at a high level. We have supportive families and community members. Our success is a product of the partnership between school, home and community. Students are our top priority and we do our best each and every day to provide an excellent education and environment for our students to learn.”
Edison Middle School Principal Cory Smith complimented his staff.
“You should all be proud of what we have accomplished. We are one of three schools in the state of Ohio to exceed expectations in student growth for the fourth year in a row,” he wrote in an email to faculty and staff members. “Keep up the good work.”
Further explaining the significance of the Momentum Award, Smith said the honored school or district “must have at least two value-added subgroups of students, which includes gifted, lowest 20 percent in achievement and students with disabilities.”
Elshoff, while informing Edison Middle of its award, said its report card reveals the commitment to student success by ensuring they “exceeded the growth expectations in English language arts and mathematics.”
“I also congratulate you on recruiting and motivating the high-quality leaders and staff needed to make this happen,” she added. “I want you to know how much we appreciate your leadership and the dedication your team has to providing a high-quality experience for all students. Please share our gratitude with all of those who contributed to this accomplishment.”
The ODE strategic plan for education is being called “Each child, our future.”
“(It) is the state’s plan to ensure each student is challenged, prepared and empowered for his or her future by way of an excellent pre-kindergarten through grade 12 education. Our mission is to prepare students for a future that has yet to be written. Many consider this to be a daunting endeavor. Your education team, however, has clearly embraced this challenge,” Elshoff said in her letters to Edison Middle and Pleasant.