RICHFIELD TWP.: Hillcrest Elementary School has placed sixth in the state for third-graders who took the Ohio Achievement Assessment in October.
Principal Katie Kowza said the distinction was not without a great deal of work.
Kowza said the staff has focused on early literacy skills and student growth data over the past few years.
“We made a point to develop a collaborative approach to literacy education by including our kindergarten through third-grade teachers in developing the strategies,” said Kowza. “We have seen a steady rise in the number of students scoring in the proficient and above categories the past five years.”
Hillcrest, which has 730 students from kindergarten to third grade within the Revere school district, was the only Northeast Ohio school ranked in the Top 10 of the third-grade listings.
It was also the school with the highest ranking in Summit, Stark and Cuyahoga counties. Of the other Top 10 schools, Revere’s number of students tested (188 of 191) was the highest.
The 87.8 percent passage rate meant that 165 of the 188 students tested were proficient or above. Of that number, 41.5 percent of the students were ranked advanced; 24.5 percent were ranked as accelerated and 21.8 percent as proficient.
“These results reflect the tremendous effort of the staff and students as well as the support of our parents,” Kowza said.
Aware that the state was changing the educational standards to include the Third-Grade Reading Guarantee — the assurance through testing that every third-grade student is reading at a proficient level before advancing to fourth grade — Kowza said the staff was proactive in embracing those new standards for the past two years.
Moving forward, the Ohio Achievement Assessment is seen by Kowza and her staff as providing good baseline data.
“This allows us to see where our third-graders’ needs are so we can provide intervention and enrichment during the course of the school year, as well as support students over the summer,” she said. “Our goal is to not only sustain these results, but improve every year to ensure that all of students are successful.”