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Local schools win Washington Achievement Award for academic success

Local schools win Washington Achievement Award for academic success

YAKIMA, Wash.--Some schools in our region are being awarded one of the highest honors for statewide academic achievement.

"I ran to my assistant principal and said come look at this email that we just got and we high fived each other," said McKinley Elementary principal Amanada Voorhees.

Voorhees couldn't contain her excitement after McKinley Elementary won the 2016 Washington Achievement award.

The school is one of 12 in the ESD 105 region to win awards based on seven categories, ranging from high math and English test scores to growing graduation rates.

McKinley received the Closing the Achievement Gap award for English Language Learners.

Voorhees says the ELL instruction students get out of class blends in with what they work on in class.

"We've really switched the model from being a pullout where those kids are solely getting their language instruction outside of the classroom to them getting their language instruction inside the classroom as well," she said.

But the award doesn't mean that staff gets complacent.

"It's just exciting to start having some of that hard work start paying off however it doesn't mean we've arrived," Voorhees said.

Wide Hollow Elementary's principal Rick Ferguson agrees.

"I really think we're at the tip of the iceberg as far as what we can accomplish," he said.

Wide Hollow is the only school in the region to be recognized in two categories, high progress and math growth.

Students there get extra math instruction before school starts and Ferguson credits parents for bringing their kids in well before the bell rings.

"They're making sure their kids are attending school. They're making sure they're coming in early for that extra help so it really is a community award," said Ferguson.

An award that not everyone receives, but for those that do it's definitely worth celebrating.

"People are working extremely hard and schools are changing and there's lots of good things to come," Ferguson said.

Two-hundred eighty schools across the state won 2016 Washington Achievement Awards which are sponsored by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and the Washington State Board of Education.

Here is the full list of winners from the ESD 105 region.

Bickleton School District’s Bickleton Elementary and High School - for Math Growth

Cle Elum-Roslyn School District’s Cle Elum-Roslyn Elementary School - for Closing the Achievement Gap (Students with Disabilities)

East Valley School District’s Moxee Elementary School - for Math Growth

Goldendale School District’s Goldendale Primary School - for English Language Arts Growth

Sunnyside School District’s Pioneer Elementary School - for Closing the Achievement Gap (Students with Disabilities)

Union Gap School District’s Union Gap School - for English Language Arts Growth

Wapato School District’s Wapato High School - for Extended Graduation Rate

West Valley School District’s Apple Valley Elementary School - for Math Growth

West Valley School District’s Summitview Elementary School - for English Language Arts Growth

West Valley School District’s Wide Hollow Elementary School - for High Progress and for Math Growth

Yakima School District’s McKinley Elementary School - for Closing the Achievement Gap (English Language Learners)

Zillah School District’s Hilton Elementary School - for Closing the Achievement Gap (Low Income Students)

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