Wauseon Exempted Village School District was recently informed that Wauseon Middle School was one of 35 Ohio Schools designated as an Ohio High Performing School of Honor and an Ohio School of Promise. The school is the only recipient in the four county region to receive two awards in the categories of Reward Schools from the Ohio Department of Education for 2014.
“When you see that WMS was the only school in the area to receive acknowledgement for both the long range award (5 Years) for School of Honor and the short term award (2014 results) for the School of Promise, you can get a sense of the efforts our school community”, stated Mr. Larry C. Brown, Superintendent. “Congratulations to the Wauseon Middle School students, staff, parents and supportive community members. We enjoy celebrating successes here at Wauseon and this is an outstanding example of academic growth and progress.”
High Performing Reward Schools are Title I eligible and must have a 90 percent or better average proficiency rate over a five year period on the Ohio Achievement Assessment and Ohio Graduation Test plus meet several other criteria established by the Ohio Department of Education. Both of these programs look at proficiency in reading and math for all student groups in a school.
Mr. Joe Friess, Wauseon Middle School Principal, shared his thoughts by stating, “To say that receiving the recognition last year was humbling is an understatement. The emotion of receiving dual recognition this year is impossible to put in words. Upon receiving the designation last year of High Performing School of Honor, WMS had set a goal of repeating that feat. Not many school buildings in the State of Ohio receive this kind of honor even once. It is even more rare to accomplish it for two years in a row, so we knew it was setting a high standard. To add the designation of School of Promise is a further tribute to the hard work and dedication of the students, parents, and K12 staff of this school district. The pride I feel in the students, teachers and community right now is overwhelming. But the pride I feel in receiving these recognitions is secondary to that of being a part of such an outstanding school and community.”
“Schools of Promise and the prestigious High Performing Schools of Honor are examples of what can happen when principals, teachers, parents and community members all believe that children can learn. Education is making a difference, and these teachers, students, leaders and communities are making a difference for the boys and girls in their local schools,” said Dr. Richard A. Ross, superintendent of public instruction. “I’m especially proud of what these schools have achieved during a year when we raised learning standards for students and launched higher accountability measures for schools.”
Below is the congratulatory letter sent from State Superintendent Richard Ross to Mr. Friess on October 29, 2014:
Dear Principal Freiss:
I am pleased to tell you that Wauseon Middle School has distinguished itself as a school where success is possible for every student. The Ohio Department of Education has named your school both a School of Promise and a High Performing School of Honor based on your 2014 Ohio School Report Card.
Both of these programs look at proficiency in reading and math for all student groups in a school, The Schools of Promise initiative considers the most recent year’s reading and math performance, while the Schools of Honor Program considers the five most recent years of reading and math performance. For more on selection criteria, visit education.ohio.gov.
We all know that student poverty is strongly linked to low student achievement and that schools with a hugh number of economically disadvantaged pupils have special challenges. Yet Wauseon Middle School is closing the achievement gaps among all students.
This kind of achievement takes bold leadership and the commitment of teachers, students, and their families. I commend you for that leadership. Also, please pass along my thanks to others who contributed to your school’s success. Together you are building a wonderful legacy for your community.
I urge you to share the lessons you’ve learned with other Ohio schools. By learning from each other, all of our schools can better prepare Ohio’s girls and boys – from every background – for college, other postsecondary training, jobs, and life.
In the coming weeks, you will receive both School of Promise and High Performing School of Honor banners to display in your school building. If you have questions about the banner or award, please contact Sherry Panizo in our Office of Policy and Research at (614) 387-0546 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Richard A. Ross
Superintendent of Public Instruction