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Beachwood wins academic recognition again

Northwest Guardian

Published: 01:23PM January 17th, 2013
Beachwood wins academic recognition again

Scott Hansen/Northwest Guardian

Teacher Angela Hilton leads a discussion on the history of civil rights in her fifth-grade classroom at Beachwood Elementary School.

The Center for Educational Effectiveness named Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s Beachwood Elementary School a 2012 School of Distinction for consistent progress in math and reading among third, fourth and fifth graders during the last five years. This is the second consecutive year Beachwood has won the distinction.

Each year, CEE recognizes the achievement of the top 5 percent of schools in the state who show academic improvement over a sustained period of time. The recognition is designed to encourage and celebrate school staff, students and school district leadership.

“We earned this award because teachers have really pulled together to collaborate and they really know their individual students,” Beachwood principal Meghan Eakin said. “It’s a team effort, from everyone out on the playground to the health room to the kitchen. We really look at it as not just a teaching effort, because it takes everyone in this building working together to make it happen.”

Even though the recognition is based on summative assessments in the spring, Eakin said some testing is done in fall to determine how students are projected to perform on the spring assessments.

“If students fall behind in the fall, we work harder to get those students up to standard,” Eakin said. “We also have students who score very high in the fall, and it’s equally hard not to have those students’ achievements drop. So we work on that projection as well.”

Eakin said Beachwood has experienced high turnover among students in the last few months because of military transitions, which presents challenges to teaching staff.

“We have students coming in at all points during the year, but we still have the same expectation to get them to standard and just a shorter amount of time to do it. We do a nice job of assessing them when they come in and figuring out where they are and where they need to be,” Eakin said.

As one of six Clover Park School District schools to earn the annual award and the only elementary school on Lewis North, Beachwood gained about 80 students this year from the new Meriwether Landing housing area on Lewis North. Beachwood also has six new classroom teachers.

CPSD district representatives will attend a statewide ceremony in late January to accept the honor on behalf of Beachwood. CPSD superintendent Debbie LeBeau will personally thank the staff at the school later during a small recognition ceremony.

“We get tremendous support from Clover Park School District through professional development and we feel very supported,” Eakin said. “We definitely need to take time to celebrate, but we also need to take some time to look at our work, reflect and figure out how we’re going to continue the momentum.”