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Rosedale school receives award for higher scores

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Two southeast Queens schools were among 24 statewide to win the 2002 Pathfinder Award from the Business Council of New York State.

The William Haberle School, PS 195, in Rosedale and PS 96 in Ozone Park were selected from more than 2,500 schools throughout the state to receive this honor.

“I am very excited and happy,” School District 29 Administrator Michael Johnson said about PS 195. “It was a school which made tremendous gains and jumps in its scores.”

He credited the principal and the school’s staff for doing a great job and said “we look for better and bigger things.” Johnson said many schools in the district had a jump in reading and math scores, but PS 195 showed the greatest improvement.

The Business Council of New York State started the award last year to praise the schools that show the greatest improvement on their students’ standardized test scores from one year to the next. Last year, 27 schools were given Pathfinder Awards, which also comes with a $1,000 prize for each school.

Johnson said the students were very focused on what they were being taught and the teachers did their best to limit distractions, which was the reason behind the big jump in scores.

“I am very pleased that two schools in Queens have won this award,” said state Assemblywoman Barbara Clark (D-Queens Village). “This is an example of inner-city schools meeting the higher standards of education. This is a great accomplishment for both of these schools.”

Clark, an advocate for public education and a member of the Assembly’s education committee, said winning the award is one of the first steps toward establishing higher standards in the public school system. She said the students at PS 195 and PS 96 have been given a solid educational foundation and a great opportunity to succeed in future educational endeavors.

Schools chosen as winners of the Pathfinder Award have to meet two criteria. First, they must show greater improvement over their records from the previous year than any other school in their region. Second, at least half of the students have to meet or exceed the state’s standards on the fourth-grade English Language Arts and math tests.

The Business Council chooses two schools in each of the 12 regions around the state for the Pathfinder Award.

“Winning the award shows some schools in the district are working very well,” said School Board 29 President Nathaniel Washington. “It is the intent of the board to take things that are working in different schools and implement them around the district.”

He said the board has reached out to each community to discuss what has been accomplished and where improvement is needed. The board wants input and wants to make the parents, teachers and administrators understand what should be done to keep education in the district moving forward.

“Remaining stagnant is no good,” Washington said.

Reach reporter Adam Kramer by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 157.

Posted 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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