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Published: Wednesday, 7/16/2008

Sylvania Southview among 16 as golden awardee

BY ANGIE SCHMITT
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Sylvania's Southview High School has been named one of 16 recipients of the High Schools That Work Gold Award.

Southview was chosen among participating schools in 16 states across the eastern United States by the independent educational group, Southern Regional Educational Board.

The award recognizes school improvement and student preparedness for college and career training, measured by a set of rigorous standardized tests, said Alan Richard, spokesman for the educational group.

"This award represents major gains in student achievement," Mr. Richard said. "Students have shown some major improvement on a test that measures their reading, writing, and math skills."

More than 50 percent of Southview students who were randomly tested were recognized as high-performing, according to the organization.

Southview teachers have focused on boosting student outcomes using the Southern Regional Educational Board's school improvement model, High Schools That Work.

"It feels good," Southview Principal Dave McMurray said of the award. "Our faculty, we work all year long on trying to improve. This is just one sign that we are headed in the right direction."

The Southview faculty spent last school year focused on four of the organization's "10 Key Principles" for high-functioning high schools, including providing extra help, using data to improve outcomes, maintaining high expectations, and encouraging collaboration among teachers.

Southview business teacher Jerry Bascuk said he used connections made at the educational board's conference to enhance classroom curriculum. "I give the kids a project where they have to choose a place to live, a job, a car, a house, and a mortgage," Mr. Bascuk said. "I actually got that from one of those conferences."

Southview also has implemented a "Mentorvention" program, where each student is paired with a teacher throughout their four years of high school, Mr. Bascuk said.

The educational board's principles aim to provide more rigorous courses taught in more relevant ways, Mr. Richard said.

Contact Angie Schmitt at:

aschmitt@theblade.com

or 419-724-6104.



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