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BHE, HAPS, YMS touted for ‘Beating the Odds’

By Ken McLemore/Hope Public Schools, 12/6/21 8:35 PM

HOPEThree campuses of the Hope Public Schools have been named as schools “Beating the Odds” in academic growth as measured from the ACT Aspire standardized test.

Students and faculty at Beryl Henry Elementary School, Hope Academy of Public Service and Yerger Middle School were recognized by the Office for Education Policy of the University of Arkansas with the award.

The campuses were recognized for “High English Language Arts Growth (Southwest Region)” among middle schools in the state.

“We think growth is the best indicator of the positive impact that your school is having on students,” OEP Executive Director Dr. Sarah McKenzie wrote in letters announcing the awards. “Awards are based on the 2021 content growth score calculated by the Arkansas Department of Education. 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.”

HPS Superintendent Dr. Jonathan Crossley sees the recognition as a sign of rising excellence districtwide.

“Across the district, staff and students are working diligently to see academic growth,” Dr. Crossley said. “The excellence and consistency at BHE, HAPS and Yerger demonstrates the best of all of us. I am proud of the staff efforts and building leadership on those campuses. Teachers, staff, and students at Beryl Henry, HAPS and Yerger should be commended for their focus on student growth; great job.”

BHE Principal Dr. Roy Turner said the award reflects the team effort among the faculty on his campus.

“Together as a TEAM we were able to make the list in one area this year,” Dr. Turner said. “Whoever as a student comes through the doors at BHE, let us continue to give them the best education possible. Each of you are certainly making a difference in the lives of every student at Beryl Henry Elementary School.”

HAPS Principal Dr. Carol Ann Duke credited a “love of teaching” in HAPS faculty for the success.

“We are beyond proud of our students, staff and families with this ‘Beating the Odds’ recognition,” Dr. Duke said. “It is evidence of our commitment to our students’ goals and aspirations for college, career and citizenship as we prepare them for life beyond middle school. This award clearly shows our love of teaching and learning and the impact that passion has on student skill attainment.”

At Yerger Middle School, Principal Mike Radebaugh said the recognition represented the “definition of pride” the faculty, staff, students and parents at YMS have toward their school.

“I’m very proud of our students, faculty, staff and parents in their efforts in making such a learning gain in a trying time,” Radebaugh said. “To be in the top five middle schools in Southwest Arkansas is indicative of the pride our students, staff and parents show in their work.”

Criteria for the award includes demonstrated high growth in ACT Aspire scores on campuses serving a high percentage of students participating in the federal free and reduced lunch program, according to Dr. McKenzie.