Riversink Elementary School Earns “Exceeding Expectations” Award
May 12, 2015
Riversink Elementary School earned an “Exceeding Expectations” award from the East Coast Technical Assistance Center (ECTAC) that serves school districts across Florida. Riversink was one of 18 schools asked to present their success story out of thousands of Title I schools in the state.
The purpose of ECTAC is to assist districts in the development and implementation of their Title I programs.
Title I is a federal program in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) that targets improving academic achievement and ensuring that students who may be economically disadvantaged get an equal opportunity to have a high quality education. It is the largest federal program that supports education.
On May 6 and 7 in Orlando, Riversink Principal Jackie High, former Assistant Principal Melinda Young, District Title I Director Sue Anderson and two teachers accepted the school award on behalf of the entire RES faculty. A second award recognized the principal’s leadership.
States Principal High, “The ECTAC committee asked us to present on the topic of Collaboration because when they studied our school’s data and then visited RES, they found school wide strategies and teamwork that uplifted all students, rather than pockets of success.”
Riversink teachers Lauren Baker and Megan Crombie co-presented about how RES achieved this success in their session called “A Roadmap to Successful Collaboration”, giving specific ways that Title I schools can best serve all children. By the second time they presented, there was standing room only.
They told the audience, “Mrs. High made it clear to our faculty several years ago that our individual success as teachers with one class each year was of more value if we all shared our best ideas and mentored each other so that every teacher and student in the school benefitted. Our individual evaluations at the end of the year became less important to us than how our school did as a whole.”
Riversink Elementary was identified by the ECTAC Exceeding Expectations Project as a Title I school that is doing an exemplary job and is willing to share their best practices with other Title I schools.
From a statewide database of all schools in Florida, an ECTAC data analysis team first identifies Title I schools that are exceeding expectations by showing significant progress in improving student achievement. In order to even be reviewed, these schools must show from prior state test scores that they:
· Maintain or increase student proficiency in Reading and Math;
· Maintain or increase their school grade for the past two years;
· Show learning gains above the state average in Reading and Math and show that the lowest performing quartile of students has learning gains from the prior year;
· Are at or above fifty percent in Reading and Math proficiency in the Black and Hispanic student subgroups.
These schools are then visited by an ECTAC team who interviews parents, students, and teachers, and does classroom observations. After a careful review of the data and analysis of what they observe, the ECTAC team may identify the school as a Finalist or an Award School.
All four of Wakulla’s elementary schools and COAST Charter School qualify for federal Title I funds. Funding is based on fifty percent or higher of students who fall into the economically disadvantaged category due to family income. However, all students at Title I schools receive the extra services that are provided through Title I funding.
Notes Superintendent Robert Pearce, “Every award earned by one of our schools, students, or faculty members is an accomplishment that the whole school district and county can be proud of.”