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Big Water’s big splash in Utah school pool

Posted: Wednesday, Nov 21st, 2012

Big Water School was among Utah’s top-performing institutions in mathematics, language arts and science, according to the state’s Office of Education.

Compared to schools similar in size and composition, Big Water School, which teaches kindergarten through eighth grade, ranked first in math, second in language arts and fourth in science.

The state’s proficiency scores were the result of computer-based testing in those three subjects in 2012.

“Small classroom numbers contribute heavily to student achievement,” said Principal Gerry Rankin.

“Parental involvement in the school by volunteering, visiting, supporting school decisions, communicating with their student’s teacher, and encouraging students to do well, make a big difference.”

Rankin also is one of the school’s three instructors, each of whom teaches all subjects. Catherine Reed handles kindergarten through second grade, Marvalee Anderson third through fifth and Rankin sixth through eighth.

When students complete their studies at Big Water, the Kane County school district pays out-of-state tuition for students to attend Page High School.

Compared to the 546 K-8 schools in Utah, of all sizes and compositions, Big Water ranked 13th in math and 15th in language arts, both with 95 percent proficiency, and 70th in science with 87 percent proficiency.

Rankin said the school has historically performed at a high level on such tests, and one of the main things she attributes the success to is training, “Kane district is dedicated to training teachers to meet the challenges of today, including teaching the common core being adopted by the Utah State Office of Education. All Kane district teachers attend several weeks of professional development training during the summer months. The results are reflected in the classroom.”

Big Water School ranked in the top two percent state wide in math, top three percent in language arts, and the top 13 percent in science.

“We are always shooting to increase our scores and would like to bring the science score up to 95 with the rest, and have a goal of improving it to at least 90, hopefully by next year,” added Rankin

For the complete article see the 11-21-2012 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 11-21-2012 paper.

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