Meeting the challenge

Published 3:28 pm Monday, February 16, 2009

By By MaryClaire Foster
Two area schools, Rachel Patterson Elementary School and Escambia County Middle School, have recently been awarded monetary rewards from both state and federal funds for academic achievements in the 2007-08 school year.
Rachel Patterson was awarded $5,900 for the Meeting the Challenge award, which is based on the school meeting Adequate Yearly Progress for two consecutive years and must also have at least an 80 percent poverty rate.
According to Principal Susan McKenzie this is the third consecutive year that her school has won the Meeting the Challenge Award.
ECMS was awarded, $17,200, the most in the county.
ECMS was honored with the Addressing the Challenge Award and the Meeting the Challenge Award.
The Addressing the Challenge Award is given to schools with at least one subgroup that closes the gap between that group and its counterpart at the state level using Reading and Mathematics Proficiency (RaMP).
According to the State of Alabama Department of Education, to receive the monetary award, schools must:
Byrd said his school was able to receive these awards because of the hard work and effort put forth by both the students and faculty.
Byrd said the awards are very exciting for the school
Originally, the state’s budget included just more than $2.4 million in School Improvement Reward funds, but the amount was reduced due to proration.
Alabama’s state legislation and the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001includes provisions that the state’s accountability plan includes a system of rewards for schools that meet or exceed annual academic achievement expectations.
McKenzie said she is especially grateful for the award following December’s proration declaration.
Byrd said his school will use the money to purchase instructional technology materials for the school such as LCD projectors, smart boards and digital cameras.
McKenzie said how the money will be spent at her school has not been decided yet.

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