Two Sites Named State High Performing/High Poverty Schools
- May 26, 2009
Forest Heights Elementary and McKinley Middle Magnet schools have been named two of the 20 state High-Performing, High-Poverty (HPHP) Schools by the Louisiana Department of Education. They follow the belief that all children can learn, regardless of their socioeconomic background or other challenges.
The state selected schools from across Louisiana that are proven sites with large populations of economically disadvantaged students and that are providing children with a world-class education. These schools are recognized because they have a baseline School Performance Score of greater than 100 for both the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 school years, no current “School in Decline” label and a free or reduced lunch percentage of more than 65 percent.
To be chosen as a High-Performing, High-Poverty School, schools must have achieved a baseline School Performance Score (SPS) of 100 or higher, or be considered a three-star school for both the 2006-07 and 2007-08 school terms, based on the state's accountability system. Schools labeled as a "school in decline" are not eligible for the designation.
To meet the definition of a high-poverty school, at least 65 percent of the school's population must be enrolled in the federally-funded free or reduced-price meal program. Student participation in the free or reduced-pr iced meal program is a national indicator used to measure poverty.
Through a partnership with the Board of Regents, the Louisiana Department of Education is conducting an analysis of the 20 HPHP schools to determine what factors contribute to their success. Department officials will make site visits and conduct interviews with members of these school communities in an effort to identify best practices that could potentially be replicated in schools with similar demographics.
The state Department of Education will be inviting the schools’ leadership teams to recognition events this month and next.
Myra Varmall, Forest Heights Elementary’s principal, was excited about the state designation. “I personally try to make sure to provide professional development to teachers and have them continuously challenge students in the areas needing improvement,” she said. “At the heart of improvement is staying abreast of new and engaging activities students enjoy doing but also help us continue to reach new heights.”
McKinley Middle Magnet School Principal Herman Brister said, “It is an honor to receive such an award. This award is indicative of the hard work and dedication of the faculty, staff and students at McKinley Middle Magnet School.”
Principal Brister in Washington, D.C., to Accept McKinley Middle School’s Second Blue Ribbon Award
On Tuesday, November 13, 2012, Principal Herman Brister (pictured, left) and the school’s Teacher of the Year, Lynn Williamson (right), were in Washington, D.C., accepting McKinley Middle Academic Magnet School’s National Blue Ribbon Award from U.S. Department of Education’s Director of National Blue Ribbon Schools Program Aba Kumi (center). The event, which recognized some 314 schools from across the United States, was held at the Omni Hotel. Click herefor story.
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