Washington Gifted Academy Ranked Five in Top Schools Listing

By: Lauren Kravets
By: Lauren Kravets

 Facebook comments:

Mark says, "I think they would all be great schools if we ever got the money owed to our school district from the state."

Jeff says "These tests don't really prove anything. Some schools practice and study for it more than others."

More quotes from the interviews:

Faber said, “It's okay to be smart especially in middle school, it's cool to be smart. Sometimes kids are afraid to be the one that got the highest grade in the class, now it's really okay and everybody is kind of striving for that."

Galvin said, "It's interesting every day and there's a new experience, they teach us different materials every day. They don't just rush through it, they give us a chance to remember it."

Cooper said, "It's really honoring because I've been in gifted so long and that I'm staying with it and it will help us in the future." 

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- For the third year in a row a Rockford school is on the list of the top five schools in the state.

Washington Gifted Academy is being congratulated after both its elementary and middle schools ranked number five on the Chicago Sun-Times list of top schools in the state.

Seventh grade student Carlos Galvin said, "It makes me want to learn more and try to raise it to be the top."

The rankings are based on ISAT scores and this year 100 percent of students at Washington met or exceeded proficiency on the standardized test.

Seventh grade student Alexus Cooper said, "The preparations they give us for quizzes and tests really help."

Principal Jill Faber says it's that extra attention that drives students.

She said, "We look at our data and try to identify areas that may be a little bit weaker and we try to target and help those students."

One of the things that sets Washington apart from the top four schools is class size. Every class at Washington is full and some have up to 33 students.

Faber says large classes can be a challenge.

Faber said, "We have very limited resources, so the teachers and the staff have to work very hard and make more of less."

Eighth grade student Lucas Edgren said, "I know the economy is getting kind of bad and this will really pay off in the future for when I'm trying to get a job and it might help for college."

Washington is the only local school to rank on the top 50 list.

Washington will be having an open house on November 8th from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. for parents interested in enrolling their child. There are 820 students enrolled there this year.

Testing for current fifth through ninth graders, to get in for next year, will be held on November 19th. Testing for current Kindergartners through four graders will be held January 21st. To sign up for the tests clink the link below.

Original Press Release:
Washington Ranked as One of the State’s Top Schools
NOVEMBER 3, 2011 – Washington Gifted Academy is ranked as one of the top five schools in the state, according to statistics analyzed and released by the Chicago Sun-Times this week.

The newspaper reviewed math and reading scores from the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT), and then ranked schools based on average scores from the standardized test. In 2011, 100 percent of Washington students met or exceeded proficiency levels on the ISAT, and both the elementary and middle school sections of the school earned a fifth place ranking from the Sun-Times.

Washington, which houses the district’s gifted program for grades 1-8, is the only school in the area to earn a spot on the “Top 50” list. This is the third year that the school has been ranked as one of the top five schools in the state.

Principal Jill Faber said the ranking speaks to the quality of education that students receive from Rockford Public Schools. “The staff is very committed to delivering a high-quality program, and the students are very excited by the challenges that are offered each day,” Faber said. “Every year, we focus on what we can do to improve our curriculum and meet the ever-changing needs of our students. All of our children exceed the standards, so we’re focusing on what we can do to stretch their brains and help them move forward.”

Washington Gifted Academy has been ranked as one of the top 5 schools in the state. Do you think Stateline schools are getting better? Or is Washington Gifted Academy an exception?

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