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Northern Middle rewarded for test scores

October 01, 1997

By DAVE McMILLION

Staff Writer

Two years of improvement in assessment test scores at Northern Middle School landed the school a new $55,000 computer lab.

The Maryland School Performance Assessment Program is an annual test given to students across the state to determine how well they are progressing.

Last year, Gov. Parris Glendening decided that schools that show improvement in the tests two years in a row should be eligible for grants as a reward for their hard work, officials said.

The grants, which are awarded based on the number of students in a school, were given to three Washington County schools last year.

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The largest grant, $32,651, went to Northern Middle School.

The 660-student school combined the money with $11,000 raised from the school's Parent Teacher Association and other fund-raisers to purchase a 30-station IBM computer lab, said Principal Richard E. Gehrman.

The fully networked computer lab, complete with CD-ROM and stereo speakers, replaced 25 Apple II E's, "which were worthless," said Gehrman. "The motivation was unbelievable."

Springfield Middle School, which received $28,555, used the money to purchase textbooks, video equipment, overhead projectors and keyboards for the music department, said Principal Roger Stenersen.

Clear Spring Middle School, which received $18,900, used $14,000 of the money to buy new computers and the rest to purchase software, said Principal James Conrad.

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