PIKETON — Rio Grande Elementary School from the Gallipolis City School District was recently recognized at the Ohio School Boards Association’s Southeast Region Spring Conference.
The conference took place at the Pike County Career Technology Center in Piketon on March 19.
The Ohio Department of Education’s High Progress Schools of Honor program recognizes schools that have sustained high achievement and substantial progress while serving a significant number of economically disadvantaged students with circumstances that can make learning difficult.
In November 2018, the Ohio Department of Education named 66 High Progress Schools of Honor. Of those 66, 15 are from Southeast Region.
As previously reported, Rio Grande Elementary Principal Julie Bays told the Tribune, “There are several criteria we have to meet to get this designation. It’s not something that happens all the time. It basically takes data from over the past five years before the state can award this to any school system.”
Part of the award’s criteria asks that a school serve economically disadvantaged students compromising over 40 percent of the school’s student population. Rio roughly serves around 50 percent of students on free or reduced lunches.
“We’ve made major gains in our state test scores,” said Bay. “Over the (roughly) last five-year period, (the Ohio Department of Education) was looking at academic years ending in 2014 to 2018. (the school year began in 2013) So, once the state scores were released for last year, they saw over the past years our students have continued to grow and score well in our state tests.”
Rio Grande Elementary serves pre-kindergarten students up through fifth grade and around 315 students.
The Southeast Region is comprised of 18 counties representing 84 school districts.
Dean Wright contributed to this article.