Scenic Elementary Sees Highest Growth in Reading Scores
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- A local school is proving its students know their numbers and words, as Scenic Elementary flips the page to higher reading levels.
The school, which came close to shutting its doors permanently last year as a result of budget cuts, recently ranked top in the state for growth in math. According to the Colorado Department of Education, numbers show the school is also succeeding in reading as well.
“We always want our kids to grow and learn,” said Doug Levinson, principal at Scenic Elementary. “We feel if we put our best effort in and our boys and girls are working their hardest, then those results will come.”
Scenic showed larger growth on recent state reading tests than any other elementary school in Colorado.
“In the classroom, we certainly have them work hard on their reading skills,” said Elaine Reed, a teacher at Scenic Elementary. “Parents are a big part of that.”
“When you bring your kid to school every day, you feel really good about what's going on here,” said Joy Hudak, a parent at Scenic Elementary.
The Colorado Department of Education reports that fourth and fifth graders at the school raised their reading levels nearly 7 percent to 77 and 79 percent.
The boost elevated Scenic's overall reading level to the 82nd percentile.
“It's the daily grind. Every minute these guys are working hard,” said Dan Worth, a teacher at Scenic Elementary. “When those results came out, it was just great to see what our gut feeling was, these guys and gals were going to do awesome and they did.”
School administrators attribute this success to their slogan: Work Hard and Be Nice.
“We have a lot of parents' support and they expect their kids to do the best all the time,” said Wendi McComb, a teacher at Scenic Elementary. “Teachers in our building expect them to do their best, and the kids expect themselves to do the best all the time.”
Some students at the school say this motto not only helped boost their reading scores, but they also use it in their daily activities.
“It's something you just can’t do at school,” said Samantha Hall, a fifth grader at Scenic Elementary. “You have to do it at sports, at the mall, anywhere in public. It’s just something you have to use for life."
Teachers say the after school homework club and their extended study hall were also factors in Scenic’s success.