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Maryland schools rewarded for strengthening achievement

(Sept. 28, 2012) Thirty Maryland Title I public schools were honored last week for their efforts to improve student achievement.

The schools, known as “Reward Schools,” have made strides in overall student work, as well as in reducing gaps in achievement. The schools are spread across nine Maryland systems.

“Every child must be given the opportunity to achieve, and these Reward Schools spotlight outstanding educational opportunities provided in classrooms throughout our State,” said Maryland State Superintendent of Schools Lillian M. Lowery. “Students in Title I schools often face significant economic hardships, and yet the data shows that they can succeed and thrive in our classrooms.”

Maryland’s new Reward Schools program was developed as part of MSDE’s plan for flexibility from parts of the federal government’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Maryland plan, approved in May, refocuses the state’s ongoing accountability efforts by eliminating the continuum of sanctions known as the School Improvement process.

Title I schools cited are either high performing — having met objectives for all subgroups over the past two consecutive years ending with the 2010-2011 school year — or high progress — having significantly cut gaps in achievement between racial or special services subgroups since 2007.

In Worcester County, Buckingham and Snow Hill elementary schools were recognized in the “Distinguished High Performing” category, and Pocomoke Elementary School in the “Superlative High Performing” category. Schools in Allegany, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Garrett, Prince George’s, Somerset and Wicomico counties, as well as Baltimore City, were also named Reward Schools for the 2012- 13 school year. This recognition comes with no financial benefits, but certificates of recognition will be sent to each school and additional honors will go to the highest achieving schools in the category.

For a list of Reward Schools, and their categories, visit www.msde.state.-md.us/w/RewardSchools2012.pdf.

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