SHS receives award for excellence in education


Photo by Sarah Brown

Elementary students C.J. Huntington (left) and Milo Huntington work with community art teacher Alyson Esmailka.

By DANA SLWOOKO, staff writer

The Sidney C. Huntington School elementary and junior high has been recognized as a 2014 – 2015 Reward School to honor its student performance by the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development.

The reward recognized schools that are the highest performing or show the most growth in student’s achievement, according to a recent newsletter from the department.

“This award speaks to the strength of our community,” said Galena schools Supt. Chris Retain

SHS was awarded along with 12 other schools in Alaska on November 21, according to the newsletter from the department.

To qualify for Reward status as a highest-performing school:

The school must be in the top 10 percent of schools in its grade configuration (K-8, 9-12, or K-12) based on its score under the Alaska School Performance Index.

Over the two most recent years, the school must have a graduation rate that averaged at least 85 percent, if it has 12th- graders; and the school must have met its goal for increasing the percentage of students who are proficient in reading, writing, and math, for the student body as a whole and all subgroups of students.

The Alaska School Performance Index measures schools by a combination of data: student achievement on the state’s reading, writing and math assessments, growth in the school’s student body in those assessments from the prior year, and attendance.

Schools with high school students also are measured by graduation rates; student performance on college- ready and career- ready assessments such as the SAT, ACT, and WorkKeys; and student’s participation rate in the WorkKeys assessment.