Five Clallam County schools, one for the third consecutive year and another for the fourth, have been recognized by the state for progress in education.
Neah Bay Elementary School — which has received the award for four years — Greywolf Elementary in Carlsborg — in its third year — and Port Angeles School District’s Franklin and Hamilton elementary schools and Stevens Middle School are among 285 schools in the state named to receive Washington Achievement Awards for 2015.
None in Jefferson County were on the list.
Each school will send representatives to an awards and recognition ceremony May 10 in Union Gap near Yakima.
Schools were recognized by the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction in seven categories: overall excellence, high progress, English language arts growth, math growth, extended graduation rate, English language acquisition and achievement gap.
The “high progress” award is given to the top 10 percent of schools based on student improvement over three years prior to the award.
To be considered for the awards, schools cannot be listed as “priority” or “focus” — schools identified as needing improvement — and must have at least 95 percent participation on state tests to qualify for recognition.
Neah Bay’s 4th award
This is Neah Bay’s fourth award, representing seven years of continuous improvement.
“We’re really seeing the kids taking a lot of the responsibility. They really want to be here and want to take it seriously,” said Principal Alice Murner.
The school has been able to make improvements because of small class sizes, averaging 15 or 16 children, which allow teachers to spend individual time with children who need extra help and to create individualized lessons as needed, Murner said.
Support for education from parents, relatives and the rest of the community also makes a difference in helping the students succeed, she said.
Murner also credited her quality teachers and staff who, with little turnover, provide stability to students.
Sequim School District’s Greywolf Elementary School received the high progress award for the third time.
Greywolf Elementary, a K-5 school with about 500 students, is led by Principal Donna Hudson.
In Port Angeles, three schools achieved high progress over the past three years.
“These awards are a testament to the hard work of staff, students and our community,” said Chuck Lisk, interim assistant superintendent for the Port Angeles School District.
Lisk was principal at Stevens Middle during the years for which it is receiving the award and became assistant superintendent for the 2015-16 school year.
“Congratulations to the teachers, support staff and students at Franklin, Hamilton and Stevens. All of us take great pride in this accomplishment,” said Marc Jackson, superintendent at Port Angeles School District.
State achievement awards help the state identify what education programs are successful, according to a statement from the Board of Education.
“The Achievement Awards recognize schools and educators making a difference in student outcomes. Award recipients are schools that have made measurable progress helping students prepare for college, career and life,” said Isabel Muñoz-Colón, chair of the state Board of Education.
“The Achievement Awards are one way we can learn more about the successful strategies Washington schools are using to help our kids,” Muñoz-Colón said.
For more information about the Washington Achievement Awards or for a full list of 2016 Washington Achievement Award winners, see the state OSPI website at www.tinyurl.com/PDN-achievement.
Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected]