If life gives you lemons, we’re supposed to make lemonade.
When Luther Elementary received a grade of “F/53” from its Oklahoma Core Curriculum Test from the Spring of 2014, it represented a whole basket of lemons.
That grade, announced that following October, came during Principal Sheila Wilson’s first year in Luther. “We were devastated, to say the least, because even though we were aware of the wonderful things that were happening inside Luther Elementary, we knew we would be judged harshly by the public,” she said.
It was time to make lemonade.
“The teachers and I quickly rolled-up our sleeves and poured over data to find gaps. We purchased over $55,000 worth of textbooks aligning curriculum and formulated a plan which involved lots of interventions, some departmentalizing, and lots of hard work,” Mrs. Wilson remembers.
It paid off as the report card the next year showed an improvement to a grade of C/75.
Then in October 2016, the school celebrated a B/84 on its report card.
The noted improvement caused Luther to be identified as a High Progress Reward School by the Oklahoma State Department of Education.
“I give all credit to those teachers in the trenches every single day. I’ve asked them to jump through hoops since I arrived at Luther Elementary. I’ve been nothing but amazed at the willingness to pull together to overcome the stigma which accompanied that F two years ago,” she said.
The award is given to schools that consistently show improvement from year to year.
“Luther Elementary is an excellent school, but it always has been. While we are ecstatic about our designation, it’s important for us to remember that no single score, ratio, or measurement should quantify the success of a school or student. Congratulations to the faculty, especially the third and fourth grade teachers, on a job well done,” said Mrs. Wilson.
Lift a glass of lemonade and say, “Cheers!”