Walls Elementary School in Kent is now recognized as a "School of Promise" by the Ohio Department of Education for its gains in reading and mathematics while serving economically disadvantaged students.
Walls Elementary and Loncoy Elementary both received "Excellent with Distinction," ranks on the most recent state report card, and now Walls Elementary is the first building within the Kent School District to receive the "School of Promise" designation.
"It's so exciting because of how hard the staff here works and how hard the students work," Walls Elementary Principal Heidi Singer said. "Any kind of recognition like that is hard work paying off."
To receive a "School of Promise" designation, 75 percent or more of students must score proficient or better on statewide achievement tests in math or reading, while 40 percent or more of the school's students are considered economically disadvantaged.
Singer said Walls Elementary made gains in reading, math and science from the 2010-11 school year to the 2011-12 year.
"The gains in a short period of time were pretty significant, but it's also working toward closing a gap in reading and math for a variety of students from different backgrounds," she said. "Obviously, it's always exciting when you make gains in reading because reading is the foundation of all of the subject areas."
Singer attributed the Walls Elementary's success to the staff's ability to work one on one with students.
"I see the time that they put in with each individual student to address individual learning needs, not just the whole group, and it really pays off when you know each one of those kids personally and you see each kid's gain," Singer said. "They tailor to fit the needs of each kid and when it pays off it's exciting for them and it's exciting for the families, too."
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