Northern Shores Elementary earns state award

Published 10:47 pm Thursday, January 5, 2012

One Suffolk school earned a 2012 Virginia Index of Performance award given by the Board of Education.

Northern Shores Elementary School was among 447 schools throughout the state that earned awards for advanced learning and achievement. The school received a “Competence to Excellence” award, which recognizes schools that met all state and federal benchmarks for at least two consecutive years and made progress toward the goals of the governor and the board.

“The award certainly goes back to the teachers in the classroom, the parents at home and the students taking what we do seriously,” said Tara Moore, principal of Northern Shores. “It’s definitely a collaborative effort.”

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To earn the Competence to Excellence award, elementary schools must meet a number of criteria, including earning program points in English, mathematics, science, history and social sciences.

Moore said the school achieved the benchmark not only thanks to the involved parents, dedicated teachers and goal-oriented students, but also because of embracing school district initiatives regarding instruction practices and more.

“With support from home, the teachers and the students, we’re able to maintain and move on and grow,” Moore said.

The Board of Education Competence to Excellence award was earned by 171 schools throughout the state. It is the second-lowest of four tiers of awards.

“The criteria for these awards are becoming more challenging with the Board of Education’s increasing focus on college and career readiness,” Board of Education President Eleanor B. Saslaw said. “That so many schools earned VIP awards speaks to the capacity of most of Virginia’s public schools to accept new challenges.”

The lowest tier, the Board of Education Rising Star, was earned by two schools. The highest tier, the Governor’s Award for Educational Excellence, was earned by 86 schools. Two school divisions and 188 schools earned the second-highest tier, the Board of Education Excellence awards.

“As we celebrate the successes of the 2012 VIP award winners, we must not lose sight of the schools in Virginia where students still struggle to achieve at grade level in reading and mathematics,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Patricia I. Wright said. “Just as the Standards of Learning (SOL) provided the foundation for the excellence we recognize today, maintaining the SOL program is essential to raising achievement in low-performing schools and closing the achievement gap.”