Richland Elementary wins trio of Office for Education Policy awards

Richland Elementary wins trio of Office for Education Policy awards

School earns recognition for high testing performance

WM School District Richland Elementary has once again been singled out for its excellence in education on a state-wide level.

Richland won three awards at the annual Office for Education Policy ceremony at the University of Arkansas. The ceremony highlights the highest- performing schools in the state.

Richland won Northeast Region Overall High Achieving, Northeast Region ELA High Achieving and Northeast Region Science High Achieving.

The awards were based on test scores such as ACT Aspire.

'My comment is always you surround yourself with great people, great things happen,' said principal Gwen Looney.

'Our instructional leaders are the heartbeat of our school as well as our assistant principal. If you have great teachers and great parents, you have a great school.'

The awards are also based on the OEP-created 'school GPA,' calculated on the basis of the percentage of students that perform at each level on the 2016 ACT Aspire math, ELA and science.

At Richland, Margie McCollum is the K-2 literacy coach, Jennifer Smith is the K-6 math coach and Debbie Hoggard is the 3-6 literacy coach.

Looney said her staff has learned to adapt on the fly this year because of major construction at the school.

'Every day there is a new element,' Looney said, referring to the construction challenges. 'But we've handled it well, I think, and when the construction is done it is going to look so beautiful.'

Hoggard said Richland has benefited greatly from Dr.

Ken Stamatis, professor at Harding University. Stamatis is a consultant to the West Memphis School District in literacy. Also the school's PTO has committed to buying books for the classrooms and also the book rooms.

Marion Choir CPA

Marion School District choirs had a chance Tuesday evening to fine tune their performances for parents and friends before this week’s Choral Performance Assessment. Pictured is the senior high mixed choir.

Photo by Mike Douglas

By Billy Woods