Last item for navigation
Puyallup Schools Recognized for Student Growth
Nine Puyallup Schools recognized for High Performance Growth
Posted on 06/07/2020
Nine Puyallup Schools recognized for High Performance Growth

We are proud to announce that nine Puyallup schools have been recognized jointly by the State Board of Education and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction for the pathway of High Performance Growth Among (Specific) Student Groups.

Congratulations, Edgerton, Hunt, Northwood, Pope, Ridgecrest, and Wildwood elementary schools; Ferrucci and Stahl junior highs; and Puyallup High School!

Ridgecrest was also recognized for a second pathway of High Performance in Closing the Gap among its students with disabilities. In addition, Ridgecrest has been nominated by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to the National Blue Ribbon Schools for the category of Exemplary High Performing Schools.

 The announcement was made on April 22 by the State Board of Education.

 The school recognitions are a joint effort by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, Washington State Board of Education, and the Equal Opportunity Gap Oversight and Accountability Committee (EOGOAC).

 The three pathways for the state’s two-year old recognition system are High Performance in each of the following: Closing Gaps, Growth, and Achievement. Each of the routes rely on multiple measures.

  • Closing Gaps: recognizes schools previously identified for ESSA Comprehensive or Targeted Supports demonstrating substantial improvements for the school or student groups.

  • Growth: recognizes schools where the All Students group or other student groups are making the largest annual gains on the Washington School Improvement Framework (WSIF) measures and meeting other eligibility requirements including the High/Low Gap measure for the All Students group.

  •  Achievement: recognizes the highest achieving schools on ELA and math proficiency, high school graduation rate, and the School Quality and Student Success (SQSS) measures, and meeting the winter 2019 WSIF performance requirement – all student groups must be performing at 6.0 or higher on the 2019 WISF, well above the state average.



Recognition Description


Edgerton Elementary

Growth for students who are English Learners.

Hunt Elementary

Growth for students identifying with Two or More races.

Northwood Elementary

Growth for students who are English Learners.

Pope Elementary

Growth for students identifying as Black.

Ridgecrest Elementary

Closing Gaps for one or more student groups at a Target Support school and Growth for students identifying with Two or More races and students who qualify for the free and reduced price lunch program.

Wildwood Elementary

Growth for students who are English Learners.


Ferrucci Junior High

Growth for students identifying as Native American or Alaskan Native.

Stahl Junior High

Growth for students identifying as Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander.


Puyallup High School

Growth for students identifying as Native American or Alaskan Native.


  • District strategies that help students succeed

The school administrators and/or staff were asked to provide some insight to the practices or systems they have in place to support the success in student growth and closing the achievement gaps. Many had common responses, with similar practices used throughout the Puyallup School District. The responses are highlighted below.

  • Focus on fostering positive relationships and partnerships with each student and their families

“At Northwood, our number one priority is building positive relationships with the students and their families…Most classroom teachers at Northwood implement a morning meeting (or a closing circle) to get a better assessment where they students feel they are at, and to identify factors   that may contribute (or impede) their progress at school.  Students are empowered to take ownership of their own learning.” 
Melanie Helle, Northwood Elementary Principal  

“At Wildwood, staff take the time to get to know students and families and build relationships so that students feel cared for. It is our goal that ELL students feel safe and secure in their environment so they can do their best learning.” 
John Huson, Wildwood Elementary Assistant Principal

“Our teachers care about the success and well-being of each student, and they identify challenges to overcome with the students.  The systems in place allow for teachers to meet students at their level and then collaborate to work in partnership toward growth.”  
Brian Fosnick, Ferrucci Junior High Principal

  • Focus on meaningful student engagement to foster student ownership of learning while intentionally teaching to the essential standards

 “Teachers and staff at Hunt work together to identify essential skills for mastery at each grade level in reading and math.  In addition to a high commitment in applying the District adopted curriculum, they use high leverage engagement practices that allow the students to talk and reflect with each other about the learning.” 
Rebecca Williams, Hunt Elementary Principal

  • Multi-tiered systems of support which include an intervention team and positive behavioral interventions.

“I would attribute this growth to the collaborative efforts of our staff to closely monitor student learning, provide differentiated instruction to meet the individual needs of students, and our building-wide commitment to providing extra time and support to students needing it.” 
Dave Sunich, Puyallup High School Principal

  • Intentional and consistent grade level/department team collaboration that is data-driven

 “This recognition is the result of our staff recognizing a situation that needed improvement and coming up with a plan that would facilitate improvement. The entire staff deserves credit because if they weren’t directly involved, they took on additional students so that this specific RTI class could happen. Of course, the students deserve recognition because they took advantage of all that was provided to them and put their best foot forward.” 
Troy Hodge, Stahl Junior High Principal

  • Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) strategies

 “These strategies support the best teaching practices in the areas of reading, writing, inquiry, collaboration, and organization, and provide all our students with the tools to excel academically.”
Krista Bates, Pope Elementary Principal

  • Implementation Social Emotional Learning, trauma-informed and/or restorative practices

“We focus on teaching the whole child by using trauma-informed, restorative teaching practices; community circles and morning meetings; and explicitly teach social-emotional curriculum including universal problem solving, self-regulation, and calming down strategies. We take time to get to know our students, make connections, and include their interests and cultures into our lessons. Lessons are engaging and incorporate high levels of discussion and collaboration.”
Dr. Michelle Fox, Ridgecrest Elementary Principal

  • Guided Language Acquisition Design (GLAD) and culturally responsive teaching strategies

“Classroom teachers work diligently with English Language Learning students to teach them the core curriculum using research-based instructional strategies like GLAD…Classroom teachers and ELL teachers work collaboratively to set goals and assess individual student progress.”
Susan Whitney, Edgerton Elementary ELL Staff

Washington State School Recognition week was April 27 – May 1

Each of the schools are recognized on the SBE website and through social media (using the hashtag #WASchoolsWeek). They will receive a banner and certificate.

Following the Governor’s orders and guidance on the COVID-19 outbreak, planned recognition events have been cancelled at this time. Out of 2,370 schools in Washington, 391 are being recognized by the state.

 This new recognition system replaces the previous state recognition system under the old law of No Child Left Behind and is also different from the School of Distinction given by the Center for Educational Effectiveness.

 Find more information about the methodology and definitions on the SBE methodology web page.