APS Schools Designated by MDE
- Published on Wednesday, 13 August 2014 11:26
The Michigan Department of Education has released its school score cards for the 2013-14 school year, and two of Alpena Public Schools' facilities received special designations. MDE's report cards are based on students' scores on statewide assessments, high school graduation rates and other factors.
Ella White Elementary School has been recognized as a "Reward School" by the Department. Schools in Michigan are designated as Reward Schools by demonstrating student achievement gains in the top 5% of schools throughout the state or by showing higher levels of gain than other schools with similar challenges.
"We are thrilled to be named a Rewards School," said Ella White principal Melissa Schaedig. "The Ella White staff has worked hard, and it's nice to have our efforts recognized!"
Thunder Bay Junior High has been designated as a Focus School by the Michigan Department of Education. This designation indicates that for the 2013-14 school year, there was a larger than expected gap between students achieving scores in the top 30% and bottom 30% on statewide assessments.
APS school officials were not taken by surprise by Thunder Bay's designation. "We have been anticipating this," stated TBJH principal Steve Genschaw. "One of the struggles with having so many high-achieving students is that there can be a bigger gap between them and those who are struggling. That's what the Focus School label is all about - the gap."
Genschaw stated that many strategies have already been put in place in anticipation of the possibility of receiving the Focus School label. "We are putting emphasis on reading and math strategies just as we have been the past few years. It's a slow process to bring that bottom 30% of our struggling students up to where they need to be, but we believe we'll get there." "The MDE school score cards depend very heavily on one snapshot of data - the MEAP," said APS Superintendent Brent Holcomb. "We offer a great program in all our schools and go above and beyond to help kids succeed, but that doesn't mean there aren't areas for improvement. Our commitment is to continuous improvement. Nothing in the state's score cards - either positive or negative - changes that."