2017-10-12 / Editorial

School year off to a bright start

The school year is just a little more than a month old, yet the good news keeps pouring out of our two schools.

It started with the news that Melrose School was the highest-ranking public elementary school in both math and English in the standardized Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers tests while Lawn finished third in both those subjects among middle schools.

Taken by fourth- and eighth-graders, the statewide tests are graded on a five-point scale. In English, 80 percent of the district’s fourth-graders and 72 percent of the eighth-graders received a score of either four or five, which means their tests met or exceeded the proficiency standards. On the math portion, 84.6 percent of fourth-graders and 61.9 percent of eighth-graders received the two highest scores.

The students, teachers and administrators all should be congratulated on their fine efforts and for continuing the standards of excellence for which our schools have become known. So, too, should the adult volunteers both in organized groups and as individuals, who complement the educators and whose giving nature also serves as a good role model.

In just the past few weeks, we’ve heard about students raising money to help children attend school in the Congo and sending a dozen boxes of pencils, books, toys, board games, clothes, diapers and gift cards to kids whose homes were devastated by Hurricane Irma in the Gulf Coast of Florida.

Their sixth-grade science teacher Charlene Tuttle put it best when she said, “they often lead the way,” referring to children.

Our schools also face the unique situation of having to integrate dozens of transient military children who often only are here for a year or two. We suspect these kids are helping the growth of native students by providing different perspectives and backgrounds from their previous homes. It’s always positive when children are exposed to as many variant aspects of life and different socioeconomic strata as possible because it’s how they learn about people and realize that our diversity is a valuable learning tool.

It’s nice to know our community is raising children who not only are exceptional in the classroom but out of it as well. While not surprising, reading stories like we have in the past month does put a smile on one’s face.

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