State honors Mukilteo district schools

By Dr. Marci Larsen | Mar 07, 2012

A few months ago, I told you about a prestigious state award that was presented to three of our schools. Mukilteo Elementary, Olivia Park Elementary and Mariner High School all had been named Washington Schools of Distinction.

About a month ago, we received word that six Mukilteo schools also have been awarded another state honor called the Washington Achievement Award.

Discovery Elementary, Endeavour Elementary, Odyssey Elementary and Kamiak High School were recognized for overall excellence, Mariner High School and Endeavour were recognized for excellence in language arts, and Picnic Point Elementary was recognized for closing achievement gaps.

Odyssey won the same award last year and Mariner won the language arts award two years ago, the same year that Explorer Middle School was honored for its gifted program.

Both of these state awards are great honors that were developed as a way to recognize the state’s top performing schools.

While the Schools of Distinction evaluates schools on their combined reading and math improvement in state assessment over the previous five years, the Washington Achievement Award evaluates schools using an achievement index.

You can get more information about the Schools of Distinction award at www.effectiveness.org and about the Washington Achievement Award at www.k12.wa.us.

The achievement index used for the Washington Achievement Award takes into account how the students in each school have performed in the state reading, writing, math and science tests, the change in student performance from one year to the next, how each school performs when it is compared to other schools that have a similar student population, and the achievement of both low-income students and students who are not from low-income families.

The result identifies the schools that have enjoyed the best performance in various categories during the past two years.

The award was created by the state legislature three years ago and results from a cooperative effort between the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the State Board of Education.

State lawmakers felt the federal No Child Left Behind Act wasn’t giving parents and the community a fair or easy-to-understand description of how schools actually are performing, so they developed the Washington Achievement Award as part of a state accountability program.

Not only are we proud that six of our schools earned the honor, we also were very excited to be asked to host this year’s statewide recognition event. All of the schools receiving the Washington Achievement Award from throughout the state will be honored at a celebration to be held at Mariner High School on Wednesday, April 25.

We don’t do our work to get awards. In fact, one of the nice things about both honors is that we didn’t have to apply for them. All the schools in the state are evaluated and the winning schools were those that emerged at the top.

Yet, while we didn’t seek these honors, it sure is nice when somebody recognizes the good work we are doing.

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