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Sat, Aug. 17

Schools, teachers honored

Teachers at Yucca Elementary School and La Senita Elementary School in Kingman are getting applause from their administrators.

Those two schools led the way among five schools in Mohave County that scored above the national average for the math portion of the Stanford-9 exam given in the spring, according to a press release from GreatSchools.net.

GreatSchools.net is a non-profit web site offering comprehensive profiles of K-12 schools, technology for searching for and comparing schools, a vast library that translates education topics into clear language, and practical advice to help parents guide their children through school.

Yucca Elementary had 28 students in grades K-8 during 2000-2001 and they scored in the 80th percentile in math on the Stanford-9 test.

La Senita Elementary had 626 students in K-6 last year with about 400 of them in grades 2-6 taking the math part of Stanford-9 in the spring, assistant principal Dawn McGill said.

Those students finished at the 55th percentile in math.

The other schools recognized with their math percentile scores were Owens-Whitney Elementary in Wikieup at 54, Havasupai Elementary in Lake Havasu City at 53, and Smoketree Elementary in Lake Havasu City at 51.

The press release stated those schools have beaten the odds by helping students from disadvantaged backgrounds achieve above national averages on Stanford-9.

One factor that may have been considered in determining what constitutes children from disadvantaged backgrounds is the number of free and reduced-price federal lunches served at their schools, McGill said.

"This is wonderful news," said Ann Marie Grant, principal at Yucca Elementary.

"Teamwork by everyone involved and a good math program from Saxon made it possible.

We (teachers) stay after school and come in early to help the kids."

Grant said she and Susan Yates taught math during the past year.

Mary Barbour and Debbie Vincent were classroom assistants.

Yucca students also scored in the 64th percentile in reading.

Extra help through the Title I program made that possible, Grant said.

"I think a lot of dedicated teachers and hard work and the need to get the kids up to where they should be was responsible for our math success," McGill said.

"We have steadily been on the increase in our scores for the past few years, but there's always room for improvement."

La Senita students scored in the 52nd percentile in reading on Stanford-9 in the spring.

Second, third and fourth-grade students at La Senita received Title I services and were targeted for reading and writing help last year, McGill said.

"Those students needing extra help got an additional 30-minute period each day with a reading specialist," she said.

Owens-Whitney Elementary School could not be contacted Friday to get reaction from an administrator to the school's third-place showing among those recognized in Mohave County by GreatSchools.net.

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