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Accolades continue for CC schools

Leavenworth, Milltown named Four Star schools

January 20, 2010
The Crawford County Community School Corp. received some more good news last week when Leavenworth and Milltown Elementary schools each were announced as a Four Star School for the 2008-09 academic year.

The two schools — both past winners of the prestigious federal No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon Award — join just 186 others in Indiana to receive the state's highest distinction.

"These Four Star schools represent the top 25 percent of schools in our state," State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett said in announcing the awardees last week. "I want to congratulate all 188 Four Star recipients for their outstanding achievement, and I challenge other Hoosier schools to push for more from their students, parents and educators. I am confident they, too, can be among the best."

To earn the distinction, given annually by the state, a school must be fully accredited by the Indiana State Board of Education, meet Adequate Yearly Progress as defined by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and perform in the top 25 percent of all schools in the state in the following areas:

•ISTEP+ percent passing both English/language arts and math;

•ISTEP+ language proficiency T-score;

•ISTEP+ math proficiency T-score; and

•Attendance rate.

Leavenworth had an attendance rate of 98.04 percent, and 81 percent of its students passed both the English/language arts and math sections of the ISTEP+. Milltown's attendance rate was 97.96 percent, and 80 percent of its students passed both sections of the ISTEP+.

This is the second time Milltown has achieved Four Star status, as the school received the honor two years ago.

"It just kind of confirms that you're doing what you're supposed to be doing," Milltown Principal Tami Geltmaker said, adding MES has an "expectation" of academic success.

Geltmaker said she is "very proud of the students who work hard," their parents who make sure they are prepared for school each day, "and, of course, my wonderful staff."

"It's quite the team award," she added.

The recognition, Geltmaker said, helps to motivate the students, because each group wants to continue the level of academic achievement reached by previous students.

School officials will recognize the Four Star award today (Wednesday) during Milltown's regular end-of-the-grading-period ceremony.

At Leavenworth, Principal Mike Key said the award is "just a tribute, really, to our kids" for their willingness to work hard and attend school every day. The school had been close to meeting the criteria in the past only to fall short in attendance, he said. Key also said that's a credit to the school's faculty for creating an environment where kids want to come and learn.

"They're excited about this," he said of the staff.

Key said that the award, coming just after Leavenworth was named a national Blue Ribbon school in the fall, validates what the school is trying to accomplish.

"It enforces that, with a state-level recognition, that we are doing something right," he said.

Leavenworth's and Milltown's success, combined with English Elementary School having just been nominated for the Blue Ribbon award (usually about eight Indiana schools per year are nominated), is proof that the Crawford County Community School Corp. as a whole is making strides, Key said.

"It's a lot of what we're doing countywide," he said, adding he wouldn't be surprised to see the remaining elementary schools — Marengo and Patoka — also receive recognition at some point.

Key said Leavenworth Elementary will have a celebration for the students next week.

Other area schools to receive Four Star status include Floyds Knobs and Galena Elementary schools.

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