11-29-11: Glacier View becomes sixth School of Distinction winner
11-29-11: Glacier View becomes sixth School of Distinction winner

Glacier View Junior High learned on November 28 that it is a School of Distinction winner for being among the top 5 percent of schools statewide that demonstrated sustained improvement in reading and math.

The junior high becomes the sixth Puyallup school to receive the award and ties the Puyallup School District with Seattle as having the most schools honored from among 295 districts statewide.

The other five Puyallup schools honored include Ballou and Kalles junior high schools, as well as Fruitland, Shaw Road, and Wildwood elementary schools.

The first five school winners were announced in October and recognized at the November 28 school board meeting with trophies, flowers, and School of Distinction banners. Employees at each school also received School of Distinction pins.

During his opening remarks to the school board, Greg Lobdell, director of research for the Center of Educational Effectiveness, said it had been called to his attention that night that Glacier View Junior High might also be a winner.

During a meeting break, Lobdell reviewed data used to determine School of Distinction winners. He returned to the microphone when the meeting resumed to announce that Glacier View Junior High is, indeed, an award winner.

“There was a slight logic miscalculation in the analysis and, in fact, Puyallup has six buildings,” he said. “Glacier View is a middle school (junior high) School of Distinction for 2011.”

The award is based on students scoring at or above the state average in grades three through eight on the 2011 Measurement of Student Progress and in grade 10 on the High School Proficiency Exam.

Schools that met that requirement were then evaluated for academic gains in both subjects over the past five years.

Glacier View Junior High opened in 2008. “Because they are a new school they only have three years of data, and the award should account for that,” Lobdell said.

The news about Glacier View Junior High was greeted with a standing ovation and thunderous applause from board members, employees, and community members in the audience.

“It’s a great surprise to our staff and a tribute to our students and our feeder elementary schools that do such a wonderful job preparing our students,” said Glacier View Junior High Principal Mark Vetter.

Glacier View Junior High will receive a similar board recognition at the January 23 meeting. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. at Ballou Junior High, 9916 136th St. E.

“As we look at the buildings involved, there has been amazing improvement across the board in Puyallup as a district … there is some amazingly good work that’s going on here,” Lobdell said.

He added several other Puyallup schools came close to winning the award, which was given to 100 schools statewide.

This is the first time that Glacier View Junior High, as well as Ballou Junior High and Shaw Road Elementary, have won the award.

It is the third consecutive year that Kalles Junior High has received the statewide recognition, the fourth time in five years that Fruitland Elementary has won the award, and the second time that Wildwood Elementary has been recognized since the award program began in 2007.

The award is sponsored by The Center for Educational Effectiveness, the Association of Educational Service Districts, the Association of Washington School Principals, the Washington chapter of Phi Delta Kappa International, the Washington Association of School Administrators, the Washington State ASCD, and the Washington State School Directors Association.

The following Puyallup School District schools received the School of Distinction Award in past years:

2010
Kalles Junior High
Sunrise Elementary
Woodland Elementary
Zeiger Elementary

2009
Kalles Junior High
Fruitland Elementary
Hunt Elementary
Zeiger Elementary

2008
Stahl Junior High
Fruitland Elementary
Hunt Elementary
Northwood Elementary

2007
Fruitland Elementary
Hunt Elementary
Wildwood Elementary