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March 31 2005 Extra Credit
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March 31, 2005

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Michigan Honors Schools That Have Improved

The following are excerpts from a recent article in The Detroit News highlighting three Wayne County, MI schools that are being honored by the Michigan Department of Education for their success:

"Three western Wayne County schools have been named Michigan Blue Ribbon Exemplary Schools, an honor bestowed by the Michigan Department of Education. Edison Elementary in Westland, Barth Elementary in Romulus, and Randall Elementary in Taylor are among just 32 schools in Michigan to receive the Blue Ribbon award. The Blue Ribbon program recognizes schools that demonstrate a strong commitment to educational excellence and significant academic improvement over five years.

"Officials of all three schools said they've streamlined their curricula, provided children with extra academic support and held after-school activities to build children's confidence — improvements that ultimately helped to boost learning. Edison Elementary lagged on Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) tests five years ago. But its MEAP scores are now above the state average. The school received an ‘A’ grade on its last two Michigan School Report Cards. The school reworked its curriculum to better coincide with state guidelines and introduced more hands-on methods for teaching math and science. A special teacher, called a ‘literacy leader,’ provides one-on-one reading instruction to early-elementary kids who need extra help."

"In Romulus, Barth Elementary worked on aligning the curriculum with state standards and focused on bringing each child up to grade level. The school's MEAP scores have improved steadily, and Barth met its goals for Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) under No Child Left Behind last year. It also made an ‘A’ grade on its Michigan School Report Card. ‘In the fall we sit down and talk with every teacher and talk about every child in this building and what their needs are, Principal Diane Golka said. ‘I hear every child's needs, all 400 of them.’"

"At Randall Elementary, just 47.8 percent of fourth-graders were proficient on the reading portion of the MEAP test in 1999-2000. That number climbed to 74 percent last year. The school made its AYP goals under No Child Left Behind for three years in a row. And last year, it received an ‘A’ grade on its Michigan School Report Card. Randall's teachers focused on improvement in reading, writing and math and provided special attention for kids who were struggling. They also started a number of after-school programs to make kids feel more connected with the school. ‘We've developed programs like an after-school Drama Club and a Junior Garden Club for third- and fourth-graders,’ Principal Diane Allen said. ‘We have after-school reading groups for grades one and two, and a summer reading class.’"

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Last Modified: 08/20/2007