Croninger earns Four Star Award - March 15, 2007

Record Number: 3051
Displayed from: Mar 15, 2007 , until: Apr 15, 2007

Fort Wayne Community Schools' communication magnet program, Croninger Elementary School, has joined an elite group of schools to be given the state's coveted Four Star School Award. Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Suellen Reed announced the awards for the 2005-06 school year late last week. Of the 1,870 Indiana schools, 175 earned the award, the highest state distinction, which is based on overall attendance rates and student achievement on 2005 ISTEP+ assessment. "We are extremely proud of the staff and students at Croninger," said Superintendent Dr. Wendy Robinson, "Their hard work and dedication serve as a model to schools everywhere." To be designated as a Four Star School, a school must meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for 2005 and perform in the top 25 percent of all the schools in the state in each of the following four areas: student attendance rates, mathematics proficiency scores, English/language arts proficiency scores and the percent of students passing both English/language arts and mathematics. Croninger, located in northeast Fort Wayne at 6700 Trier Road, has an enrollment of just over 560 students who come from across the district. It is one of FWCS' five magnet elementary schools and the only one with a communication focus. All students work on television productions, oral speaking and writing skills. A bi-weekly newscast and "Croninger Clips" video are produced by students and aired over the school's closed circuit television system. They are shown on the district's LTV-54 Comcast cable channel 54. Principal Carolyn Powers credits the hard work and commitment to excellence of her staff and members of Croninger's Quality Improvement Team, which includes parents, for the school's success. "In our building, everyone is a learner," she said. "Reading research is embedded into our school improvement process. Teachers continually share what they learn with their colleagues and are not afraid to try new instructional methods." Staff use data to help "diagnose" individual student's needs, and then work together to put appropriate assistance in place and keep it there until the student is successful. In addition, the school has a strong writing focus as part of its communication program. Students begin writing their first day in kindergarten and find writing embedded in every subject and activity they do through fifth-grade. Every year, all students write their very own book and have it published in the school's publication room. "We feel it takes the whole staff to make a lasting difference in learning for children," said Powers. Powers and her staff were recognized for their achievement by the FWCS Board of School Trustees during their March 12 meeting held in the Grile Administrative Center.

With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 50 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.