oep best 2022

PULASKI COUNTY, Ark. -- The Office for Education Policy (OEP) at the University of Arkansas recognized Baker Elementary and Sherwood Elementary as well as Sylvan Hills Junior High  as schools with high student academic growth in their latest elementary school level report. 

The OEP creates an annual report entitled the Outstanding Educational Performance Awards where we recognize schools with high student academic growth. According to OEP, growth is the best indicator of the positive impact that your school is having on students. These awards are given to schools where students demonstrate high growth on the ACT Aspire test. 

Baker Elementary was recognized for High Overall Growth in Arkansas and High English Language Arts Growth in Central Arkansas. The school ranked 16th in the top 20 elementary schools in Arkansas with a 85.89 overall growth score and fifth in the Central Region for growth in ELA on the ACT Aspire with a 85.82 growth score.

“I could not be more honored and proud to lead such a dedicated staff of teaching professionals,” said Dr. Valencia Essel, principal at Baker Elementary. “There is a level of dedication to each and every student that I have never seen in action anywhere else. From our students, parents, teachers, staff, and even district leadership, the goal is the same: ensuring each child that walks into Baker Elementary walks out more prepared to successfully enter the college classroom and/or thrive in their chosen career path.”

Sherwood Elementary was also recognized for High Overall Growth in Arkansas. The school ranked 14th in the top 20 elementary schools in Arkansas based on overall ACT Aspire growth with a 85.91 growth score.

“I am so excited about this recognition,” said Sherwood Elementary Principal Laconya Isaac. “Great job to the educators and students of Sherwood Elementary School! I am happy to be a part of such great things that are happening here. We can only go onward and upward.”

At the high school level, Sylvan Hills Junior High was recognized for several awards including High Overall Growth (Statewide), High Math Growth (Statewide), High Overall Growth (Central region), and High Math Growth (Central region).

“We are exceptionally proud of our accomplishments,” said Yvone West, Sylvan Hills Junior High principal. “Our scholars and staff consistently work hard to improve outcomes and are very deserving of this honor.”

Sylvan Hills Junior High ranked ninth in the top 20 high schools  in Arkansas based on Overall ACT Aspire Growth with a  83.73 in overall Content Growth. The school ranked first in the same category for the Central Region. 

Looking at ACT Aspire Math Growth, Sylvan Hills Junior High ranked fifth in the top ten high schools with a 85.82 overall content growth in math. Looking at the Central Region, Sylvan Hills Junior High ranked first in this category as well.

Awards are based on the 2022 content growth score calculated by the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education. These growth scores reflect how much students at the school improved from 2021 compared to how much they were expected to grow considering prior achievement. Schools are recognized based on overall growth, as well as for growth in Math and English Language Arts separately. ACT Aspire tests are taken by third through tenth grade students in math, reading, writing, English, and science.