“According to OSPI, schools were chosen for the School of Distinction award based on their performance over the past five years. The top 5% of schools showing sustained improvement were chosen,” explained Principal Jason Nelson. The Washington Achievement Award, which includes the “high progress” and “special recognition for math growth” distinctions are based on test scores from the last three years and schools qualify if they are in the top 10% of schools making the most progress.
Nelson explained that the recognition is an outcome of a district-wide effort. “Our success is the result of the efforts of many people, including excellent teaching and support staff, committed students, and supportive families. In addition, there has been an increased emphasis on best practices, focused professional development, a K-12 effort toward improvement, increased time for departments and teams, and an effort to reduce barriers to learning. This success is the result of a district effort that has been constructed over many years. Everyone in the district should feel proud for the role they have played.”
Nelson said that the awards have reassured the district that their methodology is working. “There is always room for improvement, but this shows that the direction we have been heading as a school and as a district is the right direction. Test scores are only one of many ways to measure success in schools, and I feel that they only tell one story,” Nelson said. “Our students, staff, and families should be proud of this success and realize that this is just one example of great things that are happening here every day.”
"I am very proud of my staff and our kids for what they have accomplished,” said South Bend Superintendent Mike Morris said. “This 2013 Washington Achievement Award, as well as the 2013 Washington School of Distinction Award we received in the fall are both a reflection of the hard work that we are doing here at South Bend. These awards are a nice reminder that hard work pays off whether you are a student or a staff member. Being recognized for that hard work at the state level is a very nice reward of which I am very excited for and proud of. I hope our community, staff and kids are as proud as I am of these honors."