November 8, 2007
For Immediate Release
Karla Denny, Director, Communications and Recognition Programs
Five Kansas Schools Nominated
Topeka—Commissioner Alexa Posny today announced that she will send five nominations to Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings for the 2007 – 2008 No Child Left Behind—Blue Ribbon Schools Program. Three elementary and two high schools in Kansas will be invited by Secretary Spellings to apply for this prestigious award. The final selection of Blue Ribbon Schools for 2008 will be made in September 2008.
The Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors elementary and secondary schools that make significant progress in closing the achievement gap, recognizing those schools that have at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds and have dramatically improved student performance to high levels in reading and mathematics. The program also recognizes schools whose students achieve in the top 10 percent in the state on reading and mathematics assessments regardless of demographics.
In the nomination letter, Kansas Education Commissioner Dr. Alexa Posny noted: “I am proud of the progress being made in Kansas schools. I believe the five schools nominated for this program are stunning examples of the achievement that is possible when committed and caring educators focus their energies on ensuring all students meet or exceed high academic standards.”
A committee consisting of school administrators, staff members from previous Blue Ribbon Schools, representatives from the Kansas National Education Association and the Kansas Association of Secondary School Principals reviewed the data on schools deemed to be dramatically improving* and those achieving at high levels.**
The result of the process was the selection of the five schools in three categories.
Group A – schools in the top 10 percent of the state with at least 40 percent disadvantaged students.
Beeson Elementary School, Bldg. #6687, USD 443 Dodge City
1700 W Beeson Rd.
Dodge City, KS 67801
Telephone: (620) 227-1605
FAX: (620) 227-1745
Principal: Mrs. Annette Aldape
Superintendent: Mr. Alan Cunningham
Lincoln Elementary School, Bldg. #2840, USD 298 Lincoln
304 South Fourth
Lincoln, KS 67455-2336
Telephone: (785) 524-4487
FAX: (785) 524-5454
Principal: Mrs. Jackie Combs
Superintendent: Mr. Terry Stratman
Group B – schools with at least 40 percent disadvantaged students that have dramatically improved student achievement to high levels.
Syracuse High School, Bldg. # 8114, USD 494 Syracuse
502 N. Main
Syracuse, KS 67878-1187
Telephone: (620) 384-7446
FAX: (620) 384-6868
Principal: Mr. Paul Zuzelski
Superintendent: Ms. Joan Friend
Group C – schools in the top 10 percent of the state with fewer than 40 percent disadvantaged students
Blue Valley North High School, Bldg. #0769, USD 299 Blue Valley
12200 Lamar Ave.
Overland Park, KS 66209-2711
Telephone: (913) 239-3000
Principal: Dr. Carter Burns
Superintendent: Dr. Tom Trigg
Ellsworth Elementary School, Bldg. # 3594,USD 327 Ellsworth
110 E. 3rd
Ellsworth, KS 67439-3308
Telephone: (785) 472-5554
FAX: (785) 472-8118
Principal: Mr. Eric Reid
Superintendent: Mr. Ken Arnhold
Process used for identifying “dramatically improving” schools and “schools achieving at high levels.”
*Dramatically Improving Schools: KSDE staff first determined that the schools met the minimum requirements set out in the program, ensuring that 40 percent or more of the school’s population came from disadvantaged backgrounds, that the school had not been on improvement in the past two years and that the percentage of the school’s students participating in the 2007 reading and mathematics assessments who performed at the meets standard level or above was at least at the 60th percentile. Staff then collected reading and mathematics assessment results for the schools for the past three years. Schools that did not show a continuous improvement trend for all students and subgroups of students on assessments from 2005 through 2007 were removed from the list.
**Schools Achieving at High Level: A list of schools that performed in the top 10 percent of the state on the 2007 reading and mathematics assessments in terms of the percent of students at meets standard and above was prepared. The list included aggregate performance for the school as well as the performance of each subgroup within the school. Schools where any subgroup fell more than five percentage points below the performance of the aggregate were eliminated. The committee also considered the demographic mix of the schools and the performance trend on assessments over a three-year period in determining whether to nominate any of the schools for the No Child Left Behind – Blue Ribbon Schools Award.