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Schools get cash for good test scores, attendance

May 22, 2001

Schools get cash for good test scores, attendance



By TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

Five schools in Washington County received a total of $197,236 in state grant money Monday for improved scores on the MSPAP tests and in student attendance over the past two or three years.

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The grants, which must be used for school improvement, are administered through the Maryland State Department of Education. The Washington County Board of Education announced the awards at the Maryland School Performance Recognition Program at the Technical High School.

The schools receiving the grants and the amounts included:

  • Smithsburg Elementary School, $37,890.
  • Old Forge Elementary School. $37,556.
  • Fountain Rock Elementary School, $32,271.
  • Winter Street Elementary School, $31,938.
  • Springfield Middle School, $57,581.


The total award is $54,408 more than the $142,828 the school system received last year. The county ranked sixth in the state on MSPAP scores, up from 14th last year.

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"It's unbelievable," said Springfield Middle School Principal Richard E. Gehrman. "I'm surprised. I know the teachers will be really happy."

Gehrman said a key to improved MSPAP scores is the school's reading initiative, which has been in place the past few years.

"That's the No. 1 reason why our school has been able to achieve," Gehrman said. "If you can't read, you can't do math, you can't do social studies."

He also credited the school's past administration and parents for their support.

Fourteen Washington County schools, eight elementary and six secondary, received certificates of recognition by the state for one year of gains on the MSPAPs.

Those schools are: Conococheague, Eastern, Fountaindale, Funkstown, Lincolnshire, Potomac Heights, Sharpsburg and Williamsport elementaries.

The secondary schools that received certificates are: Boonsboro Middle, E. Russell Hicks Middle, Hancock Middle-Senior High School, Northern Middle, Smithsburg Middle and the Alternative Learning Center.

"I am speechless. It was unexpected." said Lynne Gober, vice principal of the Alternative Learning Center. "This goes to the teachers. The teachers work so hard with the kids. We don't give up."

"These schools have made significant and meaningful progress toward meeting Maryland's challenging performance goals," State Superintendent of Schools Nancy S. Grasmick said in a written statement. "They represent the outstanding work of schools statewide to improve the quality of learning for all children."

The county's grant awards make up 7 percent of the state's total distribution of $2.75 million. The money is going to 61 schools in the state.

School Board President J. Herbert Hardin said the grants will help boost student achievement.

"It should be for the betterment of a lot of kids," Hardin said. "This is a real positive experience. And that's a credit to the teachers and students."

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