Secretary of Education Susan Bunting recognized Forest Oak Elementary School as one of 17 schools from across the state for their students’ academic achievement today. Representatives from all of the honored schools gathered at Capital School District’s North Dover Elementary School for the award ceremony.
The students showed exceptional performance on state tests or made remarkable progress in closing the achievement gaps between student groups. As a 2019 Recognition School, the school will receive an $8,000 award. Funding for the awards comes from the state's school improvement funds.
Principal Erin NeCastro and acting principal Shane Rifenburg attribute the achievement to the hard work of students and teachers and to a schoolwide commitment to building an environment that is conducive to success. Together, the Forest Oak staff lives a vision of growing the whole child, following the motto, "Each mighty oak was once an acorn.” They strive to meet students where they are and build them up not only academically but behaviorally, socially and emotionally. This vision has provided a strong foundation for continuous school improvement with a focus on student engagement and academic vocabulary. The school leaders also point to teachers' use of Smarter Balanced Interim Assessment Blocks over the last three years, something that has helped them to determine students' strengths and plan instruction accordingly.
Congratulations on this tremendous accomplishment, Forest Oak Panthers!