Two Sparta Area School District elementary schools were recognized by State Superintendent Tony Evers for success in educating students from low-income families. Lawrence-Lawson and Maplewood elementary schools were among 178 schools state-wide to receive Wisconsin Title I School of Recognition awards for the 2016-17 academic year.
“These schools stand out for their efforts to educate our kids,” Evers said. “They are staffed by dedicated educators who work with parents, families, and the school community to support the needs of all kids through rigorous programming and attention to student needs.”
“It is with excitement to be a recipient of the school of recognition award. The school district of Sparta is dedicated to providing high quality professional development to staff which supports the academic successes of our students. Lawrence-Lawson has focused on data-driven decision making, family engagement and best practices in education which all contribute to being a school acknowledged for their vision of “Excellence for All: Whatever it Takes,” Principal Missy Herek said.
“It is an honor and always appreciated to be acknowledged for our staff’s commitment to excellence. We set the bar high for success, and our entire staff is extremely dedicated to working collaboratively to meet the needs of all students. There are so many challenges that educators face on a daily basis, so it is rewarding to know that our dedication and efforts show up with this honor of ‘Beating the Odds.’ As an entire school district, we truly embody the motto, ‘Good people, great schools,’” Principal Pat Olbert said.
All award-winning schools receive federal Title I funding to provide services to high numbers or high percentages of economically disadvantaged children. During the May 1 ceremony at the State Capitol, the state superintendent recognized 21 High-Achieving schools and 21 High-Progress schools as identified by results from 2015-16 statewide assessments; nine schools were recognized for earning both High-Achieving and High-Progress honors. The Sparta Schools were recognized as Beating the Odds Schools, which puts them in the top 25 percent of high-poverty school in the state with above-average student achievement in reading and mathematics when compared to schools from similarly sized districts, schools, grade configurations, and poverty levels.
“In our data driven society, it’s easy to dismiss a school by looking at its demographic makeup. These schools would not be ‘expected’ to have the student academic achievement and gap closing results they have because of high levels of poverty,” Evers noted. “Their success is something to celebrate; it serves as an example of the importance of schools, families, and communities working together to ensure that every child graduates ready for college and careers.”