Patterson Elementary recognized by state as 'reward school'

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Patterson Elementary fourth graders and their teachers, along with Tecumseh Public School Supt. Kelly Coffin, held up a new banner from the state that will hang on the school building, designating the school as being in the Top 5 percent among Michigan schools as an Academic Reward School. Photo by Deb Wuethrich.

Students at Tecumseh Public School’s (TPS) Patterson Elementary gathered for a special assembly on Monday afternoon, Sept. 30, to celebrate being named a reward school for the state of Michigan as a Top 5 percent achievement school.

During the assembly, Deb Langmeyer, who had been serving as Patterson principal along with Sutton Elementary, passed the baton to Robyn Francis, who will serve as principal at both Patterson and Herrick Park Elementary Schools this year. TPS Supt. Kelly Coffin and Director of Curriculum and Technology Todd Thieken were also on hand as students got to see two banners that will hang on their school building.

Coffin said that the state has a Top-to-Bottom ranking system for schools in Michigan, and data from the MEAP (Michigan Education Assessment Program) test the past two years placed the school in the top 5 percent.

“The third and fourth graders who took the test a couple of years ago did so well that your school is one of the top schools in the state of Michigan,” Coffin told the youngsters to a collective roar of approval. “We’re so proud of Patterson Elementary,” she added. “Those students have moved on, but this is a challenge to you in a couple of weeks. We know you can do just as well as those third and fourth graders.”

The district received notice late this summer that the Michigan Department of Education had released its school report cards, which included schools meeting state standards through adequate yearly progress. The “reward school” standing that Patterson Elementary achieved is a new designation from the state, noting the school’s significant gains in academic progress during recent years.

In a letter Langmeyer sent home to parents just prior to the start of the new school year, she noted that staff and students had “truly zeroed in on improving learning.”

Criteria for selection includes data from academic achievement, improvements, reducing the achievement gap between demographic groups such as ethnic, economic, gender, and outperforming schools in the state with similar demographics and risk factors at play in the student population.

Langmeyer pointed out that Tecumseh Public Schools have been very clear in establishing the “ends/outcomes” that students must accomplish in the academic and social development of students. The school district also has a District Improvement Plan and Patterson Elementary’s School Improvement Plan which includes goals and high expectations for all students.

Best practices at Patterson Elementary include Daily Five reading instruction; fully aligned curriculum to state standards; implementation of the common core; common planning and data analysis time for grade level teams; extensive professional development of teaching staff; and continuous quality improvement practices that are part of the culture and climate of the school and district.

“You should be very proud of your accomplishment and we just need to continue to do the work we do at Patterson and continue to be a top school in Michigan,” Francis told the students.

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