Valley School Nationally Awarded

By: Laura Speakman
By: Laura Speakman

Monday afternoon, Keister received some great news. The United States Department of Education awarded them with the "No Child Left Behind" Blue Ribbon Award. The award is given to schools who have forty percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds dramatically improve their individual state test results, and also to schools that have kids within the top ten percent in state tests.

"Our school is being recognized because we have been able to narrow the achievement gap in our population and so our students are accomplishing what we have set out to do," principal Ann Conners.

For the 2003-2004 school year 42 percent of Keister Elementary's kids were economically disadvantaged. Despite that 82.6 percent of students passed reading and 84 percent passed math. Conners said she couldn't have done it without great teachers.

"I think our teachers are very creative and very artistic and I think they are creating things that do still motivate children to learn," said Conners.

Aside from school officials, parents are impressed with such an accomplishment.

"To bring our community together to close the gap is a great task and that they are actually doing it here at Keister is pretty amazing," said parent Debra Hoac.

And students are just as proud.

"It's pretty good of a school, but the macaroni is nasty," said student Amber Hoac.

Conners will be visiting DC in November to receive the award. Keister is one of six schools in the state and some 200 in the country to receive the award.

50 North Main Street Harrisonburg, VA 22801 540-433-9191 - Switchboard 540-433- 4028 - Fax 540-433-2700 - News Fax

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