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Five county schools improve, get financial reward

September 23, 1999|By SCOTT BUTKI

Five Washington County schools received a total of $131,018 from the state because of improved test scores and annual attendance rates during the past four years.

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Bester, Salem Avenue, Smithsburg, Hancock and Potomac Heights elementary schools each received more than $22,000.

Five other Washington County schools were recognized for improvements in the past year but did not receive money.

In all, 237 elementary and middle schools across the state were recognized Thursday morning by Gov. Parris N. Glendening and Superintendent of Schools Nancy S. Grasmick for "substantial and meaningful" improvements in student performance scores and participation rates in the past year.

A total of 94 schools were awarded $2.75 million as part of the Maryland's School Performance Recognition Program at a ceremony in Essex, Md. Amounts awarded ranged from $17,446 to $54,213.

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Last year, 13 Washington County schools were recognized and four of them received a total of $109,636. In all, 291 schools were recognized and 83 received money last year.

The 10 principals, School Board President Edwin M. Hayes and Schools Superintendent Herman G. Bartlett Jr. were among those who attended the ceremony.

Drenna Reineck, principal of Bester, said she went to the ceremony expecting nothing more than that the school would be recognized for its improvements.

She returned with the knowledge that the school will get $32,202 from the state.

"That is a lot of money for a school," she said.

"This is a tribute to the teaching staff and parents. We are all thrilled," she said.

The schools will decide how best to spend the money, Bartlett said. While school personnel will submit their ideas for his approval, he has never rejected one, he said.

In the past, schools have spent award money on such things as computers and classroom materials, he said.

"I am very proud of the five schools that got the monetary reward for continuous improvement," Bartlett said.

Schools were selected based on several factors, including yearly attendance rates and scores on the Maryland School Performance Assessment Program, an annual academic test.

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