Superior schools receive honorsThis year’s Wisconsin Schools of Recognition include two Superior elementary schools.
By: Emily Kram, Superior Telegram
This year’s Wisconsin Schools of Recognition include two Superior elementary schools.
To qualify for the award, schools must receive Title I funding; be among the top fourth of schools in poverty rates; and rank higher than comparable schools in reading and math.
Lake Superior and Northern Lights elementary schools met the criteria for the Superior school district.
Lake Superior Elementary also earned the distinction in 2005-06 and 2006-07 school years.
This is the first year Northern Lights has received the honor.
“This is something the community and staff at those buildings should be very proud of,” said superintendent Janna Stevens. “Both schools should be congratulated.”
Mark Howard, in his eighth year as principal at Lake Superior, said the elementary school is a special place with a staff dedicated to helping the students.
“We’re a small community, so we know each other; we know our strengths and our needs and how to support individuals,” Howard said.
Lake Superior students did very well on the statewide examinations in the 2011-12 school year. Students in grades 3-5 take the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examination (WKCE) at the elementary school level. The students in those grades at Lake Superior averaged 85.6 percent proficient or advanced in reading and 86.7 percent in math.
At the fourth-grade level, Lake Superior students rated at 93 percent proficient or advanced in reading and 91 percent proficient or advanced in math.
The statewide average for all fourth-grade students is 81 percent proficiency in reading and 80 percent proficiency in math.
“I’m proud of who we are, where we are at and where we are going,” Howard said.
“I’ve been in education for 25 years, and I have never worked with a staff that plans, prepares and delivers like this staff does.”
At Lake Superior Elementary School, 57 percent of the students qualify for a free or reduced lunch, which is the measure used to determine poverty levels.
The school also has a high percentage of students ranking at the top level of aptitude on the WKCE. In the most recent test results, 57.1 percent of Lake Superior third-graders ranking as advanced. The statewide average for third-grade students rating as advanced was 37.5 percent.
“All teachers in Superior work hard at what they do,” Howard said. “We were fortunate to be recognized because we meet the criteria for that award.”
At Northern Lights, third-grade students exceeded the state average in reading, and fourth-grade students ranked as 81 percent proficient or advanced in reading and 78 percent in math.
Northern Lights has a poverty rate of 71 percent.
“It is with great pride that I accept the Wisconsin School of Recognition Award on behalf of the students, staff and parents of Northern Lights Elementary,” said Robyn DeShayes, Northern Lights principal. “As our school songs says, ‘Success for all is our motto. We will work hard today and tomorrow to be the best that we can be.’ We believe that all students can achieve and continue to work in partnership with parents and the community to ensure that all our students have the relevant tools to develop a foundation for living, learning and working successfully at Northern Lights. It’s a great place to be.”
As part of the Wisconsin School of Recognition Award, winning schools receive $1,000 for school-related purposes and are invited to a recognition ceremony in Madison.
Northern Lights and Lake Superior will send three representatives each to the recognition ceremony and brunch on Oct. 2 with State Superintendent Tony Evers.