College For Every Student (www.collegefes.org), a national nonprofit that helps underserved students prepare for, gain access to, and succeed in college, is honoring 25 schools in 11 states as “Schools of Distinction” for their efforts in creating high levels of college readiness and for raising aspirations among their students.
The CFES “School of Distinction” award recognizes schools that have exemplary programs incorporating the three CFES core practices: Leadership through Service, Mentoring, and Pathways to College. These schools provide intensive exposure to the three practices for targeted students, known as CFES Scholars, and also create a college-going culture that promotes college readiness and success for their entire student body.
The 2012-2013 “Schools of Distinction” are:
- Audubon Technology & Communication Center, Milwaukee, WI
- Bayard Middle School, Wilmington, DE
- Collegiate Institute For Math & Science, Bronx, NY
- Cloonan Middle School, Stamford, CT
- Crown Point Central School, Crown Point, NY
- Delta Middle School, Delta, CO
- Diehl Elementary School, Erie, PA
- Dole Middle School, Honolulu, HI
- Frederick Douglass Elementary School, Cincinnati, OH
- H.W. Longfellow School, Milwaukee, WI
- Jackson County Middle School, McKee, KY
- King Elementary School, Kansas City, MO
- Knox County Middle School, Barborville, KY
- Lincoln Center of the Arts, Milwaukee, WI
- Lynn Camp Middle/High School, Corbin, KY
- Morse Marshall Middle School, Milwaukee, WI
- Northwest Secondary School, Milwaukee, WI
- Page Elementary School Center, Pineville, KY
- Plattsburgh High School, Plattsburgh, NY
- Port St. Joe Elementary School, Port St. Joe, FL
- Schenevus Central School, Schenevus, NY
- Ticonderoga Middle School, Ticonderoga, NY
- Willsboro Central School, Willsboro, NY
- Wilson Middle School, Erie, PA
- Yellow Creek School Center, Middlesboro, KY
Attaining “School of Distinction” status is a yearlong endeavor that recognizes successful school journeys to build college readiness school wide.
“We had 25 schools that raised the bar this year and developed innovative and inspirational programs for their students to become college ready,” said Steve Boyce, who leads the “School of Distinction” program.
Schools are assessed through their end-of-year portfolios and final reports. Through photos, statistics, writing samples, and written initiatives, schools document their leadership through service activities, mentoring programs, campus visits and college knowledge attained by their students. They also demonstrate student gains in attendance, academic achievement, and citizenship.
“These schools are the best of the best and I congratulate them for their great work in giving their students opportunities that are putting them on the path to college,” said CFES President & CEO Rick Dalton.
Examples of activities developed by award-winning schools include:
- STEM Activities with a CFES Focus (Cloonan Middle School, CT)
At Cloonan Middle School, Scholars have worked on reclaiming the Mill River from poor water habitat quality, organized recycling projects, and participated in a robotics class led by cadets from West Point Military Academy. Throughout the course of the year, 64% of CFES Scholars made the honor roll and nearly all of the students showed gains in attendance, academics, and citizenship.
- Community Mentor Program (Willsboro Central School, NY)
Every 11th and 12th grade student at Willsboro Central School has a community leader as a mentor who helps guide them through the college process. The mentor/mentee pairs work together for two years, visiting colleges and building college and financial aid knowledge. The entire class of 2013 at Willsboro Central School was accepted to college.
- Literacy Buddies (Port St. Joe Elementary School, FL)
A group of 24 fourth graders met twice a month with 50 second graders who were struggling with reading. The older students helped their younger peers through pair sharing, sight word games, fluency checks and writing exercises.