Jo Kain (left), Carter Lake reading coach; Charlotte Clouse (center), Carter Lake principal; and Al Cohen (right), Clover Park School District interim superintendent.
Carter Lake Elementary School has been named one of 86 “Schools of Distinction” by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) for dramatic improvements in student reading and mathematics over the past several years.
On Wednesday, Al Cohen, interim superintendent of Clover Park School District and Charlotte Clouse, Carter Lake Elementary School principal, joined the state superintendent of public instruction, Dr. Terry Bergeson to accept the award at a statewide press event at Mount Rainier High School.
“Carter Lake is very deserving of this special award,” said Cohen. “Like many of our district’s schools, staff has worked extremely hard to teach students the skills they need in math and reading. It is important to honor staff for their dedication to success and I am proud to take part in this special day.”
OSPI’s Schools of Distinction represent the top 5 percent of elementary, middle and high schools whose students have shown outstanding growth in both reading and mathematics skills during a six-year period. This year’s winning schools include 51 elementary schools, 20 middle schools and 15 high schools-out of nearly 2,500 schools in the state.
To be considered for the award, each school met the current year’s state learning targets on the Washington Assessment of Student Learning for students in both reading and mathematics.
Schools that met the reading and mathematics targets were then evaluated for six-year gains on the state’s “Learning Improvement Index.” Because the award is based on improvement across a six-year period, only results from grades four, seven and 10 were used, as those are the only grade levels with six years of trend data.
Independent research and analysis to establish criteria for the awards and to identify the schools with the greatest improvement was conducted by Greg Lobdell of the Center for Educational Effectiveness in Redmond.
“I am thrilled that students and staff at Carter Lake have been recognized for their achievements,” said Clouse. “This award would not be possible without the continued support we receive from the McChord Air Force Base community. Together we have been working very hard to improve math and reading skills and our scores speak for themselves.”
In 2001, 41.7 percent of Carter Lake’s fourth graders met standard on the reading portion of the WASL. Just 14.6 met standard in math. Over the next six years, these scores continued to steadily increase. In 2007, 77.6 percent of fourth graders met standard in reading and 56.9 percent met standard in math.
Carter Lake uses the Reading First school model, which focuses on putting proven methods of early reading instruction in classrooms. Through Reading First, schools receive support to apply scientifically based reading research-and the proven instructional and assessment tools consistent with this research-to ensure that all children learn to read well by the end of third grade.
School leaders from each of the winning schools were presented with awards and a large banner reading “School of Distinction-2007 State Superintendent’s Learning Improvement Award.”
Additional information on the award program, and a list of all Schools of Distinction, can be found on the OSPI Web site at www.k12.wa.us. To learn more about Carter Lake Elementary School visit www.cloverpark.k12.wa.us.
Carter Lake Elementary School is located on McChord Air Force Base and has an enrollment of approximately 385 students with 41.9 percent eligible for free or reduced meals.
Clover Park School District is the 24th largest public school district in Washington state and the fourth largest of 16 in Pierce County. The district is located immediately south of Tacoma. It encompasses 26 square miles in the western end of the county, serving the Lakewood, Fort Lewis Army Post and McChord Air Force Base communities.