District awarded for education

By Sarah Busken and Katie Lipster — Plain Local School District has been awarded The Advanced Placement, Honor Roll Award. It is awarded to districts that help students earn better scores on their AP tests.

The AP Honor Roll Award is given to school districts who have made AP courses more accessible to their students. The district must also maintain or increase the amount of students earning scores of three or higher on their AP test scores.

“GlenOak has made AP courses more accessible to students by implementing the honors push program,” principal Tamiko Hatcher said.

The Honors Push Program was started four years ago when Plain Local aligned the curriculum in order to push students into taking honors classes. Taking honors classes helped students gain experience they will need in order to take AP classes.

According to the district, being awarded the AP Honor Roll Award shows the school has successfully identified students who will learn from the experience of intensely challenging AP courses. Plain Local is one of only 477 school districts in all of the United States and Canada to be honored with the Fourth annual AP Honor Roll Award. Plain Local has increased the number of students participating in AP by 25 percent while improving the percentage of students earning AP Exam scores of three or higher.

Lake High School was the only other school in Stark County to receive this title.

GlenOak has improved their AP exam scores since 2011. The 16 advanced placement courses offered at GlenOak shows the school is committed to improving and adding other Advanced Placement classes. Some AP classes that are currently offered include Art 2D, Biology, Calculus AB, Chemistry, and English Language & Composition.

In addition to the high school, the state of Ohio has recognized Plain Local elementary schools, Frazer and Avondale, with the School of Promise award. Only 141 schools out of 2,187 elementary schools in Ohio have been rewarded. It recognizes and highlights the schools that are improving their education for all students, including students with economical disadvantages and ensuring they are still being provided with a solid education. The School of Promise title is awarded to schools with 75 percent or better average proficiency rate on the Ohio Achievement Assessments and the Ohio Graduation Tests in the 2012-13 school year.

“I’m very proud; the staff is consistently excellent in educating students. Since it is the second year we were honored with the School of Promise it simply shows that we are making steady academic growth,” Avondale’s principal Gerald Mohn said.

Avondale Elementary also received the High Performance School of Honor award. In order to receive this award a school must have a 90 percent or better average proficiency rate for over five continuous years on the Ohio Achievement Assessment (OAA).

“Nobody told me that we were going to win the award but we knew that we were on right track; just the same as last year,” Mohn said.

In Plain Local, the OAA is given to every student from third grade until the eighth grade.

To be given this title the school must also reach a 70 percent proficiency level in four significant subgroups in the OAA. The school must also have 40 percent or more economically disadvantaged students or poverty ridden students.

“All the elementary’s get together and talk about the data they have and how they can improve on them,” Mohn said.

Avondale is the only school in Stark County to win the School of Honor Award.

[Updated Aug. 7, 2017: This article has been reformatted for consistency.]