Parkview Elementary School has been named a Reward School by the Michigan Department of Education, the first school in the district to be given the recognition.
The school was recognized in the category “Beating the Odds” by outperforming its predicted ranking in comparison to similar schools. The measure is defined by M-STEP scores in correlation with the district’s demographics. At Parkview, 87 percent of students qualify for free or reduced lunches. The number who are proficient in reading by the end of third-grade increased nearly 10 percent to 38.1 percent.
Principal Katie Jobson said teacher collaboration, building relationships with students and parents and help from outside sources have been key. Now, she said, several instructional pieces are coming together and moving the needle in achievement. “We’ve been getting more and more, so we’re all working in the same direction,” she said.
Parkview works with The Education Trust-Midwest, which focuses on developing teacher-leaders, with Western Michigan University on Achievement-Centered Leadership and is a lab school for Reading Now Network, a collaborative effort involving 100 districts to boost reading proficiency to 80 percent in 13 counties. The partnership with RNN recently led to the donation of $10,000 funded by a grant from Herman Miller to help get more books into classrooms and create a more consistent book-leveling system.
Parents recently worked to label new books purchased through the grants, while in classrooms, students settled in to read books already shelved. Amanda Agema, who has a kindergartner and second-grader at Parkview, helped with the labeling.
“It’s exciting,” she said of the Reward status. “It’s a good school and my kids love it. I love all the staff. My kids have only gotten better.”
“It tells people something about Wyoming and our school system here,” added Stacy Valdez, who has a son in kindergarten.