Two Oak Harbor elementary schools receive awards

Two Oak Harbor elementary schools received Washington Academic Achievement Awards for 2013.

Broad View Elementary received a High Progress Award and Hillcrest Elementary received a Special Recognition Award for reading and math growth.

The High Progress award is given to Washington schools that are in the top 10 percent of academic improvement over the last three years. The Special Recognition Award is given to the schools in the top 5 percent of academic growth in reading and math.

“I think it is a great statement about how our kids are working hard, our teachers are making learning interesting and motivating kids to want to learn,” said Principal Joyce Swanson, “and I think it just speaks to everybody’s commitment to making sure kids are successful.”

These awards are given based on statewide assessment data for the last three years, according to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction’s website. Schools are assessed using the State Board of Education Revised Achievement Index and criteria set by the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act Flexibility Waiver.

“It’s not just a flash in the pan,” said Swanson. “This kind of award is recognizing us for a number of years of progress.

According to Lance Gibbon, superintendent of the Oak Harbor School District, this isn’t the first time Oak Harbor elementary schools have been recognized with these awards.

“Student success is our priority as a district,” Gibbon said in an email, “and the growth recognized in these two schools is evidence that we’re making progress.”

But according to school leaders, the improvement is not just because of the school faculty.

“Improving student learning is really a team effort,” Gibbon said. “It takes teachers, support staff, principals, students and parents all working together toward a common goal.”

Paula Seaman, principal of Hillcrest, said that the award was given to the whole community.

“This is such a wonderful place to work,” Seaman said, “and I was just so proud to be a part of this community and a part of Hillcrest.”

The schools and the district all intend to keep working towards improving the chances of student success.

“Success in elementary school is a strong foundation for everything they’re going to do for the rest of their lives,” said Swanson.


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