By CLYDE FORD
Staff Writer, Charles Town
CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - At Page Jackson Solar Elementary, teachers get on the floor with the students, volunteers put in hundreds of hours and students are excelling in classroom work.
At T.A. Lowery Elementary, students share a school-wide gardening project as part of their science courses.
The work done by the two schools recently earned them the state's highest grade, a "School of Excellence" award.
It marks the first time any school in Jefferson County has achieved that distinction, according to schools spokeswoman Liz Thompson.
Only 17 of 900 schools in the state receive the honor, which is based on a wide range of criteria, from turnover rate of the staff to students' test scores, officials said.
"It's a wonderful recognition for the teachers and students at the schools," said T.A. Lowery Principal Karen Stroup. "We hear so much about what is wrong with public education. It's nice to hear something good about public schools."