By Hank Bond
The Greenup Beacon
Russell Independent Schools was one of three school districts the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) and Kentucky Department of Education recognized Districts of Distinction at the board’s April meeting.
The districts earned the recognition under the second year of the Unbridled Learning: College and Career Readiness for All accountability system.
To qualify as a District of Distinction, a district had to have an overall accountability score at the 95th percentile or higher (based on achievement, gap, growth, college and career readiness and graduation rate), meet its current year Annual Measurable Objective, a 95 percent participation rate,
and not have a Focus or Priority School in the district.
The achievement data is based on K-PREP testing in spring 2013.
The Districts of Distinction for the 2012-13 school year are: Russell Independent, Science Hill Independent, and Walton-Verona Independent.
Russell Independent Schools Supt. Sean Horne is please with the honor the district has received.
“This is a great honor to be one of three school districts in the entire state of Kentucky to achieve District of “ Distinction status,” Horne said following receipt of the award.
“I believe our district focus on all students is a main reason we have achieved this status.
“Collaboration between teachers and staff lead to meeting the needs of each student in the district,” Horne said as he complimented the employees of the district.
“Obviously, our students are very experienced with taking high-stakes accountability tests throughout the course of the year and not just during our state mandated window for KPREP.
“We utilize MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) to give us a baseline to track student progress throughout the year.
“We are constantly looking at students as individuals and not as a test score,” said the long-term school administrator, who is in his first year as Russell superintendent.
“Even though I am very proud of the progress that we have made from last year from everyone...we will continue to tweak and improve what we do for our students.
“Our main focus is our kids . . . our motto from day one has been very simple: It's about Kids!”
It continues for Russell, as for all districts, with testing.
Horne said, “We are looking forward to the testing window in May.
“I have no worries that our students will step up and do their best.
“The bar has definitely been set high, but that is what we do at Russell Independent and our students never disappoint due to their high expectations of each other.”
KBE Board Chair Roger Marcum and Education Commissioner Terry Holliday presented each district’s superintendent and local board of education chair with a recognition banner and letter of commendation.
Each district will also receive a District of Distinction logo which it can display on its website, letterhead or use in other ways to promote its achievement.
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