8 Area Schools Earn Four Stars From IDOE
By Mike Perleberg
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – More than 300 Indiana public and private schools have been named Four Star Schools by the Indiana Department of Education, and some of them are in southeast Indiana.
The department announced the award winners for the 2012-2013 school year on Tuesday.
“I am honored to name these schools as our Four Star Schools for this year,” said Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz. “Winning this award required excellent work by teachers, administrators, students and parents throughout the year and on behalf of the entire Indiana Department of Education I send them my sincere congratulations.”
To earn Four Star designation, a school must be in the top 25th percentile of schools in three ISTEP+ categories. The methodology consisted of combined passing percentage for English and math, percentage passing both subjects, and the percentage of students tested.
Two area private schools designated with four stars were Oldenburg Academy and St. Lawrence School in Lawrenceburg.
Local public schools earning the title Four Star School include Batesville High School, Batesville Middle School, Batesville Intermediate School, Jac-Cen-Del Elementary School, South Ripley Junior High School, and North Dearborn Elementary School.
Sunman-Dearborn Community Schools Superintendent Jeff Hendrix was happy to see North Dearborn make the list, marking the second time in three years the district has had one of its schools achieve Four Star status.
“We are proud of the work of our North Dearborn Elementary School staff and students in reaching this high level of performance. It shows the dedication that our building principal and staff members have that inspires our students to find success in their academic studies,” said Hendrix.
Rob Moorhead, superintendent at South Ripley Community Schools, commended principal Rod Hite, counselor Joyce Druba, staff, students, and parents for helping the junior high earn Four Star award. Calling it a team effort, he says the school defied some factors working against it.
“Research shows that there is a direct link between socioeconomic status and student achievement, however, one of the things of which we are most proud is that we have achieved this Four-Star status even though our free and reduced lunch rate is well over 50%. Our teachers are studying student specific data and helping each student overcome any obstacles in order to achieve,” said Moorhead.
Batesville Community Schools super Jim Roberts said all four schools in the district may have been awarded Four Star status, but Batesville Primary School was not eligible for the award due to its grade configuration resulting in no ISTEP+ data. In regards to the success, Roberts pointed to a community committed to excellence in education.
“We have supportive families, community members, and businesses. We have tremendous students and a teaching staff that is second to none. With that said, we are an aligned organization that is focused on results. We use data to identify the needs of individual students and then implement best practice research to address those needs. Our dedicated teachers and support staff members believe that all students are capable of success and live our mantra of ‘Believe in Better,’” he said.
Roberts said that an additional component that is Batesville schools’ efforts with health and wellness. According to him, the corporation vigorously approaches the topic of student and staff wellness with the belief that healthy students and staff members lead to increased student performance.
The full list of 2012-2013 Four Star Schools in Indiana can be found online at http://www.doe.in.gov/news/superintendent-public-instruction-glenda-ritz-announces-2012-2013-four-star-schools.