Huron Valley Schools recently announced Huron Valley Lakeland High School’s designation as a Reward School by the Michigan Department of Education.
“Reward School” is one of three new school designations that came as the result of Michigan receiving flexibility in complying with the federal No Child Left Behind Act from the U.S. Department of Education. Reward Schools are the top 5 percent of schools in the annual Top-to-Bottom ranking of all Michigan schools, and the top 5 percent of schools that made the greatest academic progress based on test scores and reduced achievement gaps.
“Our staff and students deserve the credit for this recognition,” said Jim Baker, the district’s interim superintendent. “By focusing on those strategies that improve learning, Lakeland High School has earned this important designation. It’s clear we need to continue to implement our Strategic Plan, which is designed to identify and address the needs of every student, helping them to become career- and college-ready.”
In addition to being recognized as a Reward School, no district schools were noted as Focus or Priority Schools. Priority Schools are defined as being in the bottom 5 percent of the annual Top-to-Bottom ranking, and any high school with less than a 60 percent graduation rate for three consecutive years.
Under the No Child Left Behind Act flexibility request, an achievement gap is calculated for all Michigan schools identifying the unique gap between the highest and lowest 30 percent of each school’s student achievement.
Focus Schools make up the 10 percent of schools with the widest gaps. That list includes some otherwise high achieving schools that normally would not be expected to have low achieving students. This new designation places a brighter light on the struggling students in those schools.