McRae Elementary receives state excellence distinction

By Nick Blank nick@claytodayonline.com
Posted 11/17/21

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS — The Exceeding Excellence Award is tough to achieve, requiring Title I schools to surpass every state testing standard, but McRae Elementary is one of 26 state schools to earn the …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Don't have an ID?


Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.

Non-subscribers

Click here to see your options for subscribing.

Single day pass

You also have the option of purchasing 24 hours of access, for $1.00. Click here to purchase a single day pass.

McRae Elementary receives state excellence distinction

Posted

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS — The Exceeding Excellence Award is tough to achieve, requiring Title I schools to surpass every state testing standard, but McRae Elementary is one of 26 state schools to earn the honor.

Seminole County-based East Coast Technical Assistance Center offers support to 47 school districts including Clay. The organization identifies high-performing Title 1 schools and visits to interview staff and observe classrooms.

Program Director Marjorie Murray said this is McRae elementary’s eighth year in the Exceeding Expectations program. She said McRae elementary was compared to all 1,895 schools in the state and the award couldn’t have happened without a strong district, administration, and teachers to ensure success.

“[The school has] standards-based data driven instruction, laser-focused intervention, visible, supportive and actively engaged school leadership who never forget adults and children need to have a little fun in school,” Murray said.

McRae teachers and staff were honored by the district two weeks ago at a board meeting. Clay County School District Federal Programs Supervisor Ryan Widdowson said the East Coast Technical Assistance Center usually has an Orlando conference to spotlight award winners.

“Because of COVID they were unable to do that,” Widdowson said. “It’s been an ongoing question: when do we get to celebrate McRae? Any time we can put a spotlight on hard work that's being done, that’s such a great experience for them.”

Widdowson called the award rare and said McRae Principal Tammy Winkler and her team have created a student-centric environment with an emphasis on data.

“Every layer of a school steps up,” Widdowson added. “It’s an improved education for kids.”

District board member Tina Bullock, whose district includes McRae, said the timing of the award is fitting because it’s McRae’s 25th anniversary. She said recognition coincides with the school's improvement from a ‘C’ to an ‘A’ grade from 2017 to 2019, according to state data.’

“They really work hard. Whenever you make a school a family atmosphere it’s great,” Bullock said. "That’s what McRae has done.”

Bullock said McRae involves volunteers and their families in the school’s day-to-day operations. Now the school can be used as an example, she said.

“To get this award when you’re in an outlying rural area is a real feather in your cap,” Bullock said. “You really have to work hard.”

Comments

No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here