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HAPS among top middle schools in regio

By Ken McLemore/Hope Public Schools, 11/10/21 9:26 PM

HOPEThe Office for Education Policy of the University of Arkansas has recognized the Hope Academy of Public Service among the top five middle schools in the Southwest Arkansas Region in academic growth from scores on the ACT Aspire standardized test.

OEP Executive Director Dr. Sarah McKenzie announced the recognition Nov. 10 in a letter to HAPS Principal Dr. Carol Ann Duke and Hope Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Jonathan Crossley.

“As you may know, the OEP creates an annual report entitled the Outstanding Educational Performance Awards where we recognize schools with high student academic growth,” Dr. McKenzie wrote. “We think growth is the best indicator of the positive impact that your school is having on students.”

Dr. Crossley pointed to HAPS as a model for the future.

“HAPS is a shining example of rigorous and innovative instruction,” he said. “Going forward, we want to expand the success of the HAPS model across all campuses. HAPS should be celebrated and congratulated for its stellar recognition. The welcoming and inclusive environment exemplified at HAPS encourages community partnership and project-based learning. HAPS makes Bobcat Nation proud.”

HAPS was recognized among the Top 5 Middle Schools in the Southwest Region in High Overall Growth and High English Language Arts Growth. HAPS scored at 80.80 overall and at 81.59 in English Language Arts academic proficiency.

Dr. Duke said the recognition is particularly satisfying in the era of COVID-19.

“It recognizes the efforts of students and their performance in these tough times as well as the efforts of teachers who absolutely refused to let teaching and learning be lost due to virtual instruction, quarantining and all the difficulties we managed to overcome during the 2019-20 school year,” she said. “This is just one more reason I am so proud to be a Bobcat and so honored to work with the staff, students and families at HAPS.”

Academic content growth is calculated by the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education of the Arkansas Department of Education and is used by the OEP as the basis of its determinations.

“These growth scores reflect how much students at the school improved from 2019 compared to how much they were expected to grow considering prior achievement,” McKenzie said.

She said recognition is awarded based upon Overall Growth, Math Growth and English Language Arts Growth separately.