Ten local schools were recognized for having some of the state’s top ISTEP scores.
The Center Grove, Clark-Pleasant, Greenwood and Franklin school districts all had schools selected as four-star schools. Schools are chosen for the four-star honor if their ISTEP scores for at least three sections of the exam are in the top 25 percent of the state’s scores.
This year, 311 Indiana schools received four-star honors. That includes five Center Grove schools, three Clark-Pleasant schools, one Franklin school and one Greenwood school, according to an Indiana Department of Education news release.
“I am honored to name these schools as four-star schools for this year,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz said in a news release. “Winning this award required excellent work by teachers, administrators, students and parents throughout the year.”
This is the first time three Clark-Pleasant schools received the four-star award, and officials are hopeful more of their schools will be recognized in the future.
Clark-Pleasant officials have higher standards for students — they want scores to be in the top 5 percent of the state, director of curriculum and instruction Cameron Rains said.
“Every incremental step we take toward that is a celebration, and this is certainly one of those,” Rains said.
Both Clark-Pleasant and Franklin schools have spent more time studying students’ ISTEP scores and testing students throughout the school year so they know what math and language arts lessons students need help understanding. Both school districts have added time during the school day for students to review lessons they didn’t comprehend the first time.
This school year, principals at Franklin schools also set goals to help more students from low-income families earn higher scores on ISTEP and to help more students who were already passing achieve top scores on the exam.
Earning four-star ratings isn’t the first priority of Clark-Pleasant’s principals and teachers. But as they look for more ways to help students master what they’ve been taught in class, that should lead to more honors from the state, Rains said.
“As long as we stay on pace to meet our own internal goals, the four-star piece will probably take care of itself,” Rains said.
Best of the best
Here are the area schools that received four-star ratings by the Indiana Department of Education:
Center Grove Elementary School
Maple Grove Elementary School
Sugar Grove Elementary School
Center Grove Middle School Central
Center Grove High School
Break-O-Day Elementary School
Clark-Pleasant Intermediate School
Clark-Pleasant Middle School
Union Elementary School
Greenwood Community High School