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WC Elementary Receives State Academic Honor

BIGGSVILLE - West Central Elementary School has been selected as a "2009 Spotlight School" by the Illinois State Board of Education, recognizing the school's high academic performance.

West Central Elementary is one of only 425 schools statewide to receive this honor, meeting several rigorous academic criteria in a school where at least half of the students meet low-income guidelines.

To be named a Spotlight School, at least 60 percent of students must have met or exceeded standards in both reading and math in 2009, and at least 50 percent of students met or exceeded standards in both reading and math in 2007 and 2008.

The school also had to have made "Adequate Yearly Progress" in the two previous years, as required by the No Child Left Behind initiative. This requirement includes: at least 70 percent of students met or exceeded standards in both reading and math; 95 percent participation rate in state assessments for all students in each subgroup; and an attendance rate of at least 90 percent at the elementary/middle school level.

Superintendent Ralph Grimm said this honor is a direct result of several years of hard work and dedication of the faculty, staff, parents and students at West Central Elementary.

"Five years ago the schools in the West Central district embarked on an aggressive plan to improve academic standards," said Grimm.

"Working with faculty and distinguished educational consultants, the administration set forth ambitious goals and an academic improvement plan to achieve those goals, including additional professional development for teachers, a "response to intervention' model, and common planning time for teachers," he added.

"Because of the faculty's commitment to this plan, and students' and parents' involvement and support, West Central Elementary School now has been recognized with this award. It's very gratifying," said Grimm. "I couldn't be more proud of our teachers, support staff and students," continued Grimm.

"Their dedication and belief in this academic school improvement planning process, and their willingness to make the necessary changes to the previous structure, has resulted in this public recognition of their success. It's an accomplishment our entire district can celebrate."