Washington STEM Academy, Lakeview Middle School Honored for Promising Practices

The Indiana Department of Education, in honor of Indiana’s bicentennial, will recognize 200 promising practices from schools from all over the state to commemorate Indiana’s 200 years of Statehood.

Multiple divisions within the IDOE will participate in the process of identifying schools and promising practices.

Each month, the IDOE will recognize the promising practice schools through the delivery of a Superintendent’s Recognition Certificate to the school from Glenda Ritz, Indiana’s Superintendent of Public Instruction.

The following criteria are considered by the IDOE when identifying potential promising practices that:

  • Are student centered and inclusive
  • Impact student growth and/or performance and closes gaps for specific subgroups
  • Positively impact the climate and culture of the school
  • Set high expectations within the school community
  • Showcase innovation
  • Provide equity for all students
  • Considers wrap around support systems for students
  • Provide evidence that the practice has positively impacted students

Local schools that have received the “Promising Promises – Making it Happen” designation for their effective implementation of innovative and/or inclusive education practices include Washington STEM Academy, Lakeview Middle School, Milford School and Columbia Elementary in Rochester.

Washington STEM Academy received the acknowledgement for their effective implementation of authentic learning through STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Washington’s mission is to inspire and equip all students to continuously acquire and apply knowledge and skills while pursuing their dreams and enriching the lives of others.

Lakeview Middle School was honored for meeting the needs of all learners and helping all teachers and students to excel.  LMS recently received a 1003(g) School Improvement Grant which will help enable teachers to obtain their EL and/or High Ability certification.  This will allow the school’s teachers to meet the needs of all students in the building. Of the 533 students at Lakeview, 14% are English learners and over half of their students are on free or reduced lunch.

Wawasee Community School Corporation’s Milford School received recognition for their student-led community service project that focuses on providing books to patients at Riley Children’s Hospital. The Kehoe Kids Project, named after a former teacher who lost her battle with cancer and donated her books to the school. This has transitioned from a small book drive to legacy project.

Rochester Community School Corporation’s Columbia Elementary received acknowledgement for managing behavior positively. Columbia has focused on setting up an environment for student success and teaching skills that are incompatible with negative behaviors, and providing consequences for problem behaviors. Their Life Skills class has begun using strategies, materials and the principles from a curriculum developed by HANDS in Autism. Using the HANDS model has created a more positive learning environment and improved school culture at the elementary school.

These schools display the use of promising practices that foster equity and high quality systems. By utilizing these practices, an opportunity for educators to network with one another has been created.  This also allows educators to learn about the best practices taking place throughout the state, as well as connecting the schools in which these practices are occurring.