Two Great Bend elementary schools received special recognition last week in the form of a Challenge Award from the Kansas State Department of Education for making a noticeable difference in student achievement despite facing challenges in their student populations.
USD 428’s Park Elementary School and Riley Elementary School received the Challenge Award honor for 2018. Jean Clifford, district 5 representative to the Kansas State Board of Education, delivered the certificates and sincere congratulations in Great Bend on Friday, April 12.
“41 schools in District 5 received Challenge Awards, more than any other district,” said Clifford. “To me, this illustrates that our rural schools are doing well for our students and helping them to excel.”
Administered by the Confidence in Education Task Force. Since the awards inception in 2002, Challenge Awards have been presented to over 1,600 schools across the state. Award criteria from the KSDE website states that Challenge Awards recognize schools for outstanding achievement and uncommon accomplishment based on Kansas math and reading assessment results and other qualifying factors, specifically the sample size, ethnicity and social-economic status of those taking the test.
“We are proud of our teachers and support staff at Park, Riley, and across the district who are investing in the success of our children every day,” said Khris Thexton, USD 428 superintendent. “The Challenge Award is motivation for our administrators and teachers to reach for even higher levels of performance.”