Two elementary schools in Lawrence received state recognition this week for significant achievement in student performance despite challenges they face in their school population.
New York and Schwegler schools each received one or more Challenge Awards from the Confidence in Kansas Public Education Task Force, a group that includes the Kansas State Department of Education as well as organizations representing school boards, administrators, teachers and other education professionals.
The awards go to schools with high concentrations of disadvantaged students — those who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches — that still manage to post higher-than-expected student test scores.
The awards are based on state assessments administered last spring.
New York School, where nearly 77 percent of students are economically disadvantaged, earned three certificates of merit, based on test scores in fourth-grade math, fourth-grade reading and fifth-grade math.
Schwegler School, where about 60 percent of students are economically disadvantaged, earned a certificate of merit based on scores in fifth-grade math.
“They did a great job,” said Lawrence Superintendent Rick Doll. “It’s an example of communities coming together and really concentrating on student achievement.”
Lawrence school board president Vanessa Sanburn said she was also proud of the schools.
“Because of the dedication of a lot of teachers, I think kids there really feel like they belong and they’re cared for and they’re known by the adults working in the building,” she said. “I think that’s true of all of our buildings, but it’s really impressive to see the results that they get.”
Statewide, the task force awarded certificates of merit to 70 schools in 46 districts in Kansas.
The awards will be presented at a ceremony Friday, Nov. 14, at Junction City Middle School in Junction City.