Pawnee Heights High School has earned a Governor’s Achievement Award for outstanding performance in both math and reading assessments. The Kansas Department of Education recognized Pawnee Heights as ranked among the top 5 percent of Kansas high schools in both reading and mathematics on the Kansas State Assessments. High schools were also measured for graduation rates.
Eighteen high schools were recognized for the seventh annual Governor’s Achievement Awards, honoring the top performing schools in the state.
Read the full article here from the Great Bend Tribune:
Incredible things can materialize when a group of people work together with a common purpose, a commitment of excellence, and a tireless work ethic. Pawnee Heights has been awarded the 2013 Governor’s Achievement Award, a prestigious recognition. This is the second time the school has been chosen in the last three years. Since the inception of the Governor’s Achievement Award, Pawnee Heights has been honored five times; three years at the elementary level and twice at the high school.
To be considered for the award, the school must have been among the top five percent of schools in both reading and mathematics on the state assessments at its respective level and met one additional measure. For elementary schools and middle/junior high schools that measure is attendance and for high schools the additional measure is graduation rate. To put in perspective, only 18 of the state’s 360 high schools qualified for the award this year. To be so honored over multiple years and at multiple grade levels within the school is truly remarkable and requires a focused team effort throughout the entire system. “We know that without administrative support, highly qualified teachers, paraprofessionals, and other personnel, such achievement simply is not possible,” said Kansas Commissioner of Education, Dr. Diane DeBacker.
Pawnee Heights, a small rural school district in western Pawnee County, takes advantage of their size. A low student to teacher ratio provides for more one-on-one instructional opportunities in the classroom. The school also makes extensive use of technology such as distance learning in the ITV classroom, multiple computer platforms and software to promote learning, a 1:1 Ipad initiative for high school students, and virtual courses to expand the curriculum. There is one thing above all else that makes a difference in the academic success at Pawnee Heights, according to Daniel Binder, principal and superintendent of the school. “Above all else, the single most important thing about our school is the people and the culture they have created. We have students that are willing to be motivated in their learning and a full staff of professionals who guide the process. Just as Dr. DeBacker suggests, we have quality people working together to help our students achieve and the results reward their efforts.”
(Great Bend Tribune, Sunday, February 2, 2014)