Homestead named Lighthouse School of Excellence
CROSSVILLE, May 21, 2012 (Menafn - Crossville Chronicle - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --Although they call themselves the Bulldogs, students at Homestead Elementary School did not mind Principal Robin Perry describing them as butterflies last week.
"You have earned your wings...," said Perry after announcing that the school had received a major award from the educational software company Renaissance Learning. "It has been challenging, but you have done it and I'm proud of you."
Thanks to the students' hard work and that of their teachers and staff, Homestead Elementary became the first school in the world to be named a Renaissance Lighthouse School of Excellence. The award was presented May 9 by Glen James, CEO of Renaissance Learning, during a Master School Celebration in the school's gym.
"This is the best part of my job," said James as he handed the award to Perry. "We're a big company in a lot of schools... (and Homestead Elementary) is the first one to get this award."
Renaissance Learning's Lighthouse Schools program was designed to help students achieve significant academic growth in all subjects, as well as improve qualitative measures, such as school climate, teacher satisfaction, parent support, community engagement and college and career readiness.
Homestead Elementary joined the program during the 2011-'12 school year. It was selected based on its strong, effective leadership, dedicated teachers and high levels of parental involvement.
To earn this award, the school had to meet specific goals in each of the following initiatives: the establishment of a one-to-one computing program for every student for second grade and up; individualized goal-setting for every student in the critical skills of reading, math and writing; on-the-job professional development for teachers; and enhanced parental and community involvement in the school.
They were given three years to accomplish all of this. The school went above and beyond and did it in one. In addition, the school achieved Renaissance Master School Certification in its use of Accelerated Reader, Accelerated Math and Math Facts in a Flash. A total of 32 teachers, including a pre-K teacher, have been certified as model or master educators in one of these areas.
"Homestead Elementary School has earned this distinguished honor (of being a Master School), for seven years, and we join only four other schools in Tennessee to earn this award for reading," Perry explained. "We are the only school in Tennessee also recognized as a Master School in Math and Math Facts in a Flash."
She added, "Earning this (Lighthouse School of Excellence) award is a proud moment for all of the teachers, staff and students of Homestead. We've worked hard to reach these goals aEUR- and we have the results to prove it."
According to Perry, students who have been served by the Response to Intervention (RTI) team has dropped to 34, only 4.5 percent of the school population. About 93 percent of the students scored proficient on the state writing assessment, with 24 percent scoring advanced. Normal Curve Equivalent (NCE) scores increased 5.5 in reading and 10.9 in math from August to January test screenings, indicating accelerated growth in both reading and math.
"The effort that the Homestead Elementary School family put into achieving this is something that our entire community can be proud of," she said.
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