Huxford an Honor Roll school

Published 4:44 pm Wednesday, October 26, 2005

By By Adam Prestridge
Going above and beyond the call of duty is what Huxford Elementary School faculty and staff does best.
Each year, the staff comes in with one thing in mind, helping their students meet and exceed their potential.
Last week, Huxford was recognized by State of Alabama Department of Education superintendent of education Joseph B. Morton for the second time in less than a year for taking the extra steps to ensure its students receive quality education.
Huxford has met or exceeded Adequate Yearly Progress (AYD) for two consecutive years and was named one of 113 Honor Roll Schools in the state, which includes elementary, middle and high schools.
"We are very excited and proud of our faculty and staff," Huxford Elementary School principal Betty Warren said. "They are very dedicated and have a love and concern for our students. Huxford's a small school and we are like a family here. Working here is not like a job to the faculty and staff that work here."
According to information from the State of Alabama Department of Education, a taskforce comprised of Alabama educators and stakeholders developed the Rewards and Sanctions plan for the state's public schools. The taskforce used information from 2004-05 student test data, released in August 2005, to determine which schools were eligible for recognition and monetary rewards. The schools eligible are in two categories, which are consistent with the Rewards and Sanctions plan approved by the State Board of Education on Nov. 13, 2003, and are consistent with No Child Left Behind.
"It's an honor to be recognized," Warren said. "I've known all along that the faculty and staff here was doing a great job and what they're supposed to be doing. It's rewarding to have others on the outside notice your efforts."
Pollard-McCall was the only other school in Escambia County to be named an Honor Roll School. The irony of both schools being honored is that they would have both been shut down had the tax referendum not passed.
According to Huxford Guidance Counselor Carol Middleton, AYD consists of 17 goals and weighs heavily on attendance. Huxford reached all 17 of the goals and had 100 percent of their students present for state testing.
"We had a makeup day and some students took it then, but it doesn't matter," Middleton said.
Other AYP factors include, male vs. female; full pay and reduce lunches and ethnicity.
Warren said it's just the nature of her employees to continually work hard for the students well being.
"It's just the make up of the faculty and staff here," she said. "Their goal is for every child to master the objectives of their grade level. They want to make sure their students are the best they can be and live up to their potential.
One of the principles included in the Rewards and Sanctions plan is that the criteria should reward schools that overcome the greatest challenges. With this in mind, the following criteria were used as a result of the recommendations from this working group for identification of schools eligible for rewards based on 2004-05.
Schools that meet or exceed AYP for two consecutive years:
Schools that close the achievement gap:
Beside the 113 Honor Roll Schools there were 43 Meeting the Challenge Schools and 73 Gap Closer Schools in the state of Alabama.
Huxford was also recognized as one of 13 Torch Bearer schools in the state in March for being a school with over 70 percent of its student population receiving free or reduced lunch and performing at an above average level on all portions of the SAT10 exam.

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