HERRIN (WSIL) -- Herrin Elementary School received a special honor from the state for improving its Illinois Report Card rating to an exemplary rating.
Herrin Superintendent Terry Ryker says every year the Illinois State Board of Education releases ratings meant to show how well a school educates its students.
Ryker explains, "Your school could actually be exemplary, underperforming, or lowest-performing. Last year, Herrin Elementary was underperforming."
Ryker says that rating was a wake up call.
"We put together a school improvement team. With help of some money that we received through evidence-based funding, we hired grade level leaders."
Principal Bobbi Bigler says she's happy with her improvement team.
"If we did not have that relationship, I don't know how a lot of things would get done because they really embrace our goals. They go out there, they drive them with the other staff members, and really help keep everybody on task."
She says in just one year students were able to increase their scores.
"We put a lot of things in place for our special populations and they grew. If you want to be successful in school, you gotta be here and that was another goal we surpassed," Bigler explains.
Herrin Elementary School improved scores by more than 10 percent. Something Superintendent Ryker is very proud of.
"The way the designation scores are, it has to do with the growth of the students from one year to the next. Last year, our students made tremendous growth, and that's why we had such a high score."
Other schools in our region that received exemplary ratings were: Carterville Intermediate School, Giant City school, Longfellow Elementary in Marion, Summersville Grade School and Unity Elementary in Massac County.
Evangelist Franklin Graham prayed on a sidewalk outside the Pentagon Thursday after his invitation to a prayer service inside was withdrawn because of comments that insulted people of other religions. More>>