Area schools see lower grades

Krystle Wagner • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:40 AM

As Grand Haven Area Public Schools Superintendent Keith Konarska said some his district's building scores declined, which they expected because of the changed grading scale by the Michigan State Board of Education.

“Although a little difficult to accept, over time, it help promotes greater success,” Konarska said. “I’m confident our staff and students will meet the increase going forward. I expect continued steadied improvement.”

Although some Grand Haven schools saw lower grades, all buildings made the Adequate Yearly Progress status.

Peach Plains and Rosy Mound elementary schools each received A's. Griffin, Lake Hills, Mary A. White and Robinson elementary schools each received a B.

Ferry Elementary School, Lakeshore Middle School, White Pines Middle School and Grand Haven High School earned C's.

The state recognized three types of schools: Reward Schools, Focus Schools and Priority Schools. Reward schools were selected in three ways: they rank in the top 5 percent on the Top-to-Bottom list, ranking in the top 5 percent of schools making the greatest achievements, or making the Beating the Odds list, Konarska explained.

Lake Hills, Peach Plains and Rosy Mound were selected as Reward Schools.

“We were very, very pleased,” Konarska said. “Those schools are working hard.”

Lakeshore Middle School was listed as a Focus School, meaning they showed the largest achievement gaps between the top 30 percent of students and the bottom percent of students, Konarska said.

“It doesn’t mean students aren’t doing well, but it means there’s a gap,” he explained. “We’re working on strategies this year to educe that gap.”

The Spring Lake district also had three schools recognized as Reward Schools: Holmes Elementary School, Jeffers Elementary School and Spring Lake Intermediate School. Those schools also received A's.

Spring Lake High School received a B, while Spring Lake Middle School received a C. All Spring Lake Public Schools made the Adequate Yearly Progress Status.

Calls and messages to Spring Lake Public Schools Superintendent Dennis Furton were not immediately returned.

When Wendy Somers read Fruitport Community Schools’ scores, she said she guessed she was having the same thoughts as other districts throughout the state. Somers — principal of Fruitport Middle School, and the formerly the district's director of curriculum and instruction — said the district leaders we’re surprised by the poor grades.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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