Department of Education revised its list of four-star schools for the
2015-16 year which now includes Liberty Elementary and Intermediate schools
from the Duneland School Corporation and St. Patrick’s School in Chesterton.
This is the first
time for LES to be on the list, at least since before 2009 according to the
Christy Jarka she is excited to see her school make the list this year and
told the Chesterton Tribune this morning it was a combination of
perseverance and determination by her staff, students and parents.
“We not only
believe children can learn, we live it,” Jarka said. “Our faculty and staff
is committed to going above and beyond to help all students reach their
potential. Our parents are amazing in their support, too. Most of all, our
students come to school knowing they are our number one priority, and we are
here to do whatever it takes to help them achieve.”
At LIS, Principal
Greg Guernsey said collaboration between the staff and students with
activities are what achieves success.
require the application of newly acquired concepts rather than just
recollection. Although we are very pleased and honored to receive this
award, we understand that this is only one measure of all that we do for our
students at Liberty Intermediate School,” Guernsey told the Tribune.
This is the first
time LIS has been named a four-star school by the state since the 2010-11
Comparably, for the
2014-15 school year, only Chesterton Middle School received a four-star
Superintendent of Instruction Jim Goetz said that the School Corporation is
proud of all its schools, regardless if they make the four-star rating or
not. However, the rating is something the administrators will keep striving
for, he said.
“We’re happy for
our two schools -- LES and LIS -- for getting this honor but we would like
to see all nine of our buildings have it.” Goetz said. “We’ve got great
students and parents that are very supportive. Those two things usually go
hand in hand.”
Patrick’s School Principal Richard Rupcich gave praise to his students and
teachers as the school earned its eighth consecutive four-rating.
Rupcich said the
critical factor for the school’s long-term success is the longevity of
Pastor Father Meade and the teachers, many of whom have been there for 20
years or more, as well as the families of St. Patrick students and their
commitment to education.
support our efforts by sending students to school on a daily basis who are
ready to learn and understand the importance of education, this taking
homework, classwork, and testing seriously,” Rupcich said.
This will be Father
Meade’s last year with the school after having served for 17 years.
The state also
announced Immanuel Lutheran School in Valparaiso as a four-star school. A
few of its students come from the Duneland area.
Other schools in
Porter County that were announced as four-star schools on Friday include
Morgan Twp. HS, Washington Twp. HS, Boone Grove HS, John Simatovich
Elementary School in Union Twp., Union Township Middle School, Cooks Corners
Elementary School in Valparaiso, Hayes Leonard Elementary School in
Valparaiso, Memorial Elementary School in Valparaiso, Northview Elementary
School in Valparaiso and Thomas Jefferson Elementary School in Valparaiso.
In the two lists of
four-star schools, a total of 248 schools received the award. The list can
be found on the DOE’s website.
To receive Four
Star designation, a school must receive an “A” on the state’s A-F
accountability system, grades 3-8 must have at least 85 percent of all
students passing English/Language Arts and Math portions of the ISTEP test,
at least 55 percent of all students in grade 10 passing the English/Language
Arts portion of the ISTEP and 35 percent of all students passing the Math
portion, a 2016 graduation rate of at least 97.5 percent of all students and
show success in closing achievement gaps.
designation as a four-star school signifies a pursuit of academic excellence
among both the students and the administration,” said Indiana Superintendent
of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick, in a press release. “I am honored
to recognize these four-star schools and their leadership for their hard
work and dedication to preparing their students for a bright and prosperous