JOYCE — Steadily increasing graduation rates helped Crescent High School earn a School of Distinction recognition for the second year in a row, an achievement for which the district’s superintendent credits his staff.
The Center for Educational Effectiveness announced Crescent High School is the only school in Clallam and Jefferson counties to earn the recognition this year.
“Without any questions, we’ve hired a great staff,” said Dave Bingham, Crescent School District superintendent. “We have some staff that have been with us … and they are highly dedicated to what they do.”
Since 2012, Crescent High School’s graduation rate has continued to climb an average of more than 5 percent per year.
In 2012, 65 percent of students graduated. That percentage climbed to 86.6 percent in 2016, a number the district is proud of, he said.
Bingham pointed to teachers’ efforts of targeting and helping individual students to focus on both their strengths and weaknesses.
Because the school is small, with 210 students in the district and 64 students at the high school, it’s easier for teachers to help students on an individual basis, he said.
The high school has an after-school program twice a week when students can go through after-school tutorials with teachers, he said.
The school also has an after-school academy on Saturdays students may be required to attend to help catch up, he said.
“Being a small school, it’s easy to individualize, to help identify particular needs in a particular student and to provide them that extra support,” he said.
As a result, test scores have been up in both math and science for the district.
Last year all nine ninth-grade students who took the End-of-Course algebra test passed and 87.5 percent of students passed the EOC biology test.
While the test scores aren’t what was measured for the school’s School of Distinction recognition, passing the tests is crucial for students to graduate, he said.
“When you talk about graduation rate it’s passing classes, earning credits and having success on these tests,” he said. “We’re moving forward there.”
The school is one of 94 school across Washington being recognized with the the 2016 School of Distinction award and is the only in Clallam or Jefferson counties, said Marilyn McGuire, CEE vice president with district and school improvement.
CEE looks at sustained improvement over a five‐year period in English language arts, math, and graduation rates, when determining which schools to recognize.
CEE in partnership with the Association of Educational Service District, the Association of Washington School Principals, Washington Association of School Administrators, Washington State School Directors’ Association and the Washington State Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development have recognized schools in the top five percent of improvement for their levels.
This is the 10th year CEE and its partners have recognized schools with the School of Distinction award.
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at email@example.com.