State awards grants to Shelby County schools

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 26, 2006


State Board of Education honored schools throughout Alabama that showed improved student achievement on state assessments with a resolution and monetary awards, including five schools from Shelby County.

Schools honored from Shelby County included Meadow View Elementary, Wilsonville Elementary, Oak Mountain Middle, Riverchase Middle and Thompson High.

The State Board rewarded schools that made significant strides in improving student achievement and in reducing the achievement gap between defined student populations, or subgroups.

Statewide, the monetary awards totaled almost $3 million from state and federal sources. The five Shelby County schools received a combined $33,300 in monetary awards, with the largest award, $17,500, going to Oak Mountain Middle School. The other school&8217;s awards were Meadow View Elementary, $2,500; Wilsonville Elementary, $3,300; Riverchase Middle, $5,000; and Thompson High School, $5,000.

&8220;I am extremely pleased and proud of our five schools that were recognized and I commend them for all of their hard work,&8221; said Superintendent Evan K. Major, Jr.

Oak Mountain Middle School Principal Larry Haynes was stunned at the amount of money his school was awarded, which was the largest amount given to any school from state School District Six. Haynes surprised the OMMS employees Thursday afternoon with a special faculty meeting to announce the news.

&8220;This is a tribute to the entire faculty and staff, along with our parents, who worked so well together to meet the challenges we have in helping our students achieve at the highest level,&8221; Haynes said.

The Accountability Advisory Subcommittee, comprised of Alabama educators and stakeholders, developed the plan for distribution to Alabama&8217;s public school using information from 2005-2006 student test data. Each school&8217;s faculty will get to vote on how the money should be used.

The primary factor in selecting eligible schools for reward was based on how schools overcame their greatest challenges.

Oak Mountain Middle School was recognized for Exceeding the Challenge, a school whose subgroup percent of students scored proficient in reading and math and exceeded its state counterpart. Oak Mountain Middle received money for three subgroups, Asian, Black and Limited English Proficient.

They received $5,000 for each of those subgroups.

The school also received an additional $2,500 for Addressing the Challenge in their Special Education subgroup, for a total of $17,500. They earned this reward by being a school with subgroup that closed the achievement gap in percent of students scoring proficient in reading and math by at least 15 percent when compared to its state counterpart.

Thompson High School received $5,000 for Exceeding the Challenge with their black student subgroup.

Riverchase Middle School received $5,000, $2,500 each, for Addressing the Challenge in the Hispanic and Limited English Proficient subgroups.

Meadow View Elementary received $2,500 and Wilsonville Elementary received $3,300 for Addressing the Challenge in their poverty subgroups.