Two local schools earn distinctive honors

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Ellington - posted Fri., Jan. 25, 2013

Two schools in Ellington recently received “School of Distinction” awards from the Connecticut State Department of Education.

Crystal Lake Elementary School and Windermere Intermediate School were both named Schools of Distinction for 2012, based on Connecticut Mastery Test scores.

Schools identified as “Highest Overall Performance” have a School Performance Index greater than 88 and are performing within the top 10 percent of schools across the state. Windermere Intermediate School was among those schools qualifying for the distinction in this manner.

Superintendent of Schools Stephen Cullinan said that Ellington's CMT scores have been fairly strong for some time, and that Windermere Intermediate School has had extremely strong scores for many years. “It's really not a surprise that they would be listed as a School of Distinction,” he said.

Crystal Lake was cited for “Highest Progress” for increasing its scores by more than three points from 2011 to 2012.

Cullinan said Crystal Lake School's scores were fine before this year, but they had a significant increase, due to a focused effort.

“The principal and the staff, along with the reading specialist, did a lot of work with a targeted instruction to students,” Cullinan said, citing the school instructional plans that hone in on individual students, assessing where they are and what they need to progress.

Cullinan said Principal Michael Larkin was pleased on behalf of his staff.

This is the first year that the state used the “School of Distinction” system, as part of the Elementary/Secondary Education Act, known more commonly as “No Child Left Behind.”

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