Story and photo by Mark Carpenter –
With all the doom and gloom stories that have been surrounding the Manchester Local School District recently, some good news came the district’s way last month as the Manchester Elementary received notification that they were receiving the Ohio State Board of Education’s 2016 Momentum Award. The award is in recognition of exceeding expectations in student growth on the Ohio School Report Cards for the 2015-16 school year.
A letter from Thomas Gunlock, President of the State Board of Education, to MES Principal Nick Roberts, stated the following: “The Momentum Award recognizes schools that have received A’s on every value-added measure included on the 2016 Ohio School Report Card. For your students, you are keeping the learning momentum high! Your report card for the 2015-16 school year indicates that your pupils made greater than expected progress in reading and mathematics. This is especially commendable because you no doubt have a diverse array of students whose educational backgrounds and learning needs vary. As a winner of a Momentum Award, you are part of a group of schools that is showing that children of every background and ability level can achieve.”
Principal Roberts gave The Defender his thoughts on winning the Momentum Award.
“At Manchester Elementary, we have had the privilege to receive and earn the Momentum Award from the Ohio Department of Education. The credit for earning the award is due to our dedicated staff of teachers and paraprofessionals who work with our students on a daily basis.”
“The past couple of years, we have revamped our instructional emphasis with new curriculum for most, if not all grade levels in reading and math. For that, I would like to thank our Board of Education for supporting our focus with the curriculum, and again our teachers who utilized the curriculum. Our main focus is ‘student growth’ and we have tiered our intervention classes to meet the need of all our subgroups. Our teachers have done a fantastic job of making data-driven decisions, utilizing technology, and re-visiting objectives if they are not mastered the first time. I truly believe that our staff communicates well with one another in maximizing student potential in our teacher-based teams and as a building-level team. Again, the goal with the ever-changing mandates per the state report card is ‘growth.’”
“Another factor in our academic growth is the initiation of our PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports),” Roberts continued. “Positive behavior, in turn will promote academics. At MES we have a reward system that recognizes the student’s appropriate and acceptable behaviors. We utilize ‘Bark Bucks’ as the reward in which students may purchase monetary and non-monetary items from a reward menu.”
“Again, I want to thank the teachers and staff here at MES for taking the responsibility to meet the needs of ‘growing’ all students academically and we will continue to strive to meet the educational needs of all of our students.”