Four Independence County schools – Batesville’s Central and West Elementaries and Southside Charter High School – have been named among Arkansas’s 204 Reward Schools.
Additionally, Batesville’s Sulphur Rock and West Elementary Schools were two of Arkansas’s 163 schools receiving an ‘A’ on the State Report Cards, based on performance, growth, student success, school quality, and in the case of high schools, graduation rates.
For ranking among the top five percent improving schools in Arkansas, based on growth of students’ ACT Aspire scores, Batesville’s Central and West Elementary Schools received $34,282.08 and $50,178.24, respectively.
For ranking among the top six to ten percent of Arkansas schools in Growth and Graduation, Southside Charter High received $16,997.40. Batesville’s West Elementary also received $25,089.12 for ranking among Arkansas’s the top six to ten percent in Performance.
For their performance and growth/graduation in the 2016-17 school year, a total of 204 public schools in Arkansas were recognized as either high performing schools, high gaining schools — or both, through the Arkansas School Recognition and Reward Program.
“The Arkansas School Recognition Program was created to provide financial awards to public schools that achieve high student performance, student academic growth, and for secondary schools, high school graduation rate,” according to the Arkansas Department of Education.
The statute authorizes rewards in an amount of up to $100 per student for the top five percent and up to $50 per student for the top six to ten percent.
Schools receiving recognition funds must establish a committee to determine the best use of the funds. The committee includes the principal, a teacher elected by the faculty, and a parent representative selected by the local parent-teacher organization or another parental involvement group. Schools may use the funds for faculty and staff bonuses, educational equipment and materials, or personnel to assist with improving or maintaining student performance and growth.