Local schools receive award for test gains


By Casey S. Elliott - celliott@civitasmedia.com



Three Champaign County schools received the state school board Momentum Award for exceeding student growth, as measured on the state report card.

Graham Elementary, Mechanicsburg Middle and Triad Middle schools all received the award, the state Board of Education announced Tuesday. The award recognizes schools for receiving straight As on all value-added measures on the report card. The district must have at least two value-added subgroups of students, which includes gifted, lowest 20 percent in achievement and students with disabilities.

Value-added data measures the impact schools and teachers have on student academic progress rates from year to year — not just one test on one day.

This is the second year for the Momentum Award from the state, and the first year all three schools received the award, according to the Ohio Department of Education.

“We are excited because the Momentum Award recognizes the growth students are making in a year,” said Graham Superintendent Kirk Koennecke. “Our teachers have been working hard to use data and monitor student progress in all areas. This award reaffirms that our teachers’ commitment to growth is working and, more important, that our fine students are meeting growth targets with their hard work.”

Mechanicsburg Exempted Village Schools Superintendent Danielle Prohaska said she was pleased to see this award for the district’s middle school students. She said the school district had sought a separate designation for a middle school at the state (instead of being a middle and high school as in the past) to more easily focus learning on the appropriate grade levels.

“This award is a direct reflection of that reorganization and recognizes the efforts of our middle school staff and administration,” she said. “Our middle school teachers take a tremendous amount of time throughout the year analyzing data of students and adjusting their instruction accordingly. This type of reflection on real time student data is key to the success here.”

Triad Superintendent Chris Piper said he was pleased to see the award for the middle school.

“The teachers and administration have been working very hard with a keen focus on student learning,” he said. “They have developed a great culture in that building with high expectations for student achievement while making sure that it is still a caring and nurturing environment for students. We’re happy to see their dedication pay off. We also thank the students for their hard work and the parents for their continued support.”

To view all Momentum Award winners, visit http://bit.ly/1THyS1j .

By Casey S. Elliott

celliott@civitasmedia.com

Casey S. Elliott maybe reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1772 or on Twitter @UDCElliott.

Casey S. Elliott maybe reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1772 or on Twitter @UDCElliott.