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Schools' progress recognized by state

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By Gale Fiege
Herald Writer
Published:
MUKILTEO -- Of the 275 public schools receiving Washington Achievement Awards last week, 35 are in Snohomish and Island counties.
Of those 35 schools, Kamiak High School earned an overall excellence award, something given to just 5 percent of schools in the state.
The achievement award program started a few years ago when the state Board of Education and the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction decided to provide a way to make sense of assessment data, state school officials said. Schools are judged during a two-year period in a variety of areas, including progress in test scores and how many students graduate. Demographics play a part in the scoring.
Kamiak Principal Mike Gallagher said he plans a school-wide celebration of the award Wednesday.
"This excellence award says a lot about the commitment of our staff and the support of our parents," Gallagher said. "It also shows that our students are taking responsibility for making sure school is a safe place where people respect each other."
Teachers at Kamiak focus on daily measurements of how much their students are learning, Gallagher said. "It's not flashy, but it is a plan that seems to be paying off."
Also among the 35 schools in the area, Mariner and Jackson high schools won awards in reading and writing achievement. Monroe and Snohomish raised their rates of graduation. Meadowdale High School closed some of the gaps in achievement between most of the student body and students from low-income or racial minority families.
Among the high schools that showed overall improvement were Snohomish and its alternative AIM High and Stanwood and its alternative Lincoln High.
Stanwood Principal Christine Gruver said teachers at her school are working hard to raise test scores.
"It's nice to be recognized for our work to help students be more successful," Gruver said.
No local schools earned awards in math or science.
All of the state's award-winning public schools are to be honored during an award ceremony set for April 25 at Mariner High School.
For more on the state achievement index and the awards program, go to www.k12.wa.us/educationawards/WashingtonAchievement.
The following are the award-winning local schools.
Overall excellence
Cedar Wood, Forest View, Mill Creek, Silver Firs, Silver Lake and Woodside elementary schools; and Eisenhower, Evergreen, Gateway and Heatherwood middle schools in the Everett School District.
Discovery, Endeavour and Odyssey elementary schools and Kamiak High School in the Mukilteo School District.
Madrona Non-Graded and Maplewood Parent Cooperative alternative schools in the Edmonds School District. Coupeville High School in the Coupeville district.
Language arts awards
Henry M. Jackson High School in the Everett district.
Mariner High School and Endeavour Elementary School in the Mukilteo district.
Extended graduation rates
Monroe High School, Snohomish High School and South Whidbey High School.
Improvement awards
Snohomish and AIM high schools in the Snohomish School District.
Stanwood and Lincoln Hill high schools in the Stanwood-Camano School District.
Edmonds Heights K-12 alternative school in the Edmonds district, Port Gardner alternative in the Everett district and Washington Virtual Academies in the Monroe district.
Closing achievement gaps
Picnic Point Elementary School in the Mukilteo district.
Beverly, Brier, Chase Lake, Meadowdale, Seaview and Spruce elementary schools; Alderwood Middle School and Meadowdale High School in the Edmonds School District.
Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; gfiege@heraldnet.com.

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