Students honored for perfect scores

Published 8:24 am Wednesday, November 3, 2010


FRANKLIN—S.P. Morton Elementary School recently recognized students in fourth through sixth grades for achieving a perfect 600 on one at least one Standards of Learning tests from last year.

“I think it is just highly motivating for all the children in the school,” said S.P. Morton Principal Donald Spengeman. “It is important to recognize a student’s success.”

Recipients recognized during an Oct. 26 program from last year’s third-grade class were:

Bowen Armbruster, Jack Godwin, Kirsten Myers, Devlin Moody and Connor McCoy, all in science and social studies; Trevon Bellamy in reading and social studies; Kendall Brown, Alyssa Geary, Grace Goode, Demar Handshaw, Tehya Lowe, all in social studies; Ian Holmes, Brianna Kry, Johnny Riddick, Wayne Tennessee and Ziya Walloe, all in math

Fourth grade:

Ethan Bloomfield, Jillian Hunter, Deuntae Jefferson, Simonida “Cindy” Mitrovic, all reading and math; Wali Faulk, math; and Natalie Reichert and Kaitlyn Whitehead, both reading

Fifth grade:

Ryan Aylward, reading, science and Virginia studies; Angela Bird and Dominique Briggs, Lynn Lawson and Tamera Williams, math and Virginia studies; Brandon Blythe, Tamia Copeland, Ciara Joyner, Westley Smith and Matthew Whitehead, all math; Dustin Brubeck and Alexander Ross, reading, math, science and Virginia Studies; Lauren Causey, math and writing; Hunter Greenhaw and Erin Karmilovich, math and science; Terrence Jeffrey, Gregory Pope, Vanessa Stone and Brian Warren, all Virginia studies; and Jordan Williams, reading and Virginia studies.

In 2006, S.P. Morton formed a committee to brainstorm on how to motivate their students to do their best on the SOL test. Out of this initial brainstorming came the thought that it would be nice to honor those students who achieved a perfect score.

After some discussion, it was decided to start a permanent recognition plaque, one for each grade that takes the SOLs at the elementary level. Sponsors came forward to purchase the plaques.

Some students earn a 600 on more than one test each year. In the 2009-2010 school year, four of the seven students who earned a perfect score in fourth grade received a 600 on the math and reading SOL tests.

For the students who were in fifth grade last year, of the 20 students who earned perfect scores on SOL tests, two students received a 600 on all four SOL tests they took — reading, math, science and Virginia studies.

Victor Story of Vic’s Signs and Engraving in downtown Franklin engraved the plaques and Kiwanis Club of Franklin sponsored the third-graders’ plaque. Franklin Rotary sponsored the fourth-graders’ plaque, and Fred’s restaurant sponsored the fifth-graders’ plaque.

“This gives the children a goal because they can see that their friends, their family members, their classmates have done it, so it encourages them to work a little harder,” Spengeman said. “Another thing I like about tonight is that in a society where athletics and celebrities are recognized so much, we are here to recognize academics, and that is truly what we are about at this school.”

In Virginia, all children are expected to know the content stated in Virginia’s Standards of Learning in English, math, science and social studies. This content is assessed through Virginia’s Standards of Learning Assessments.

Students must attain scores of 400 or more to show proficiency on these assessments. The SOLs are Virginia’s way of assessing the high-quality standards of performance that all children are expected to meet and ways to measure progress as required by Title I. Title I is the largest federal aid program for the nation’s schools, which was reauthorized by Congress, most recently as part of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

The goal of Title I is a high-quality education for every child. The program provides instructional services and activities to meet the needs of disadvantaged children identified as failing or most at-risk of failing the state’s performance standards.

Since S. P. Morton is a school-wide Title I school; all Title I services and materials benefit all students. Staff paid with Title I funds work together with all other staff for total school improvement.

Specifically, Title I funds provide one full-time and one part-time remediation coach to provide extra time for reading instruction for second- through fifth-graders identified as having reading difficulties, three classroom reading teachers to assist in reducing class size in reading groups to a 1-to-16 teacher-student ratio, funds for reading and math instructional materials, and funds for professional development on improving reading skills for all students.

“Title I has helped us greatly,” said Beverly Rabil, associate director of instruction. “We are deeply indebted; it helps us to keep the class size small.”

The evening was capped off with the performance “Making Music” by 43 fourth-graders under the direction of first-year music specialist Erica Jackson.