West Manor Elementary School is one of the 16 winners of the 2014 National Excellence in Urban Education Award from the National Center for Urban School Transformation (NCUST) at San Diego State University. The schools were recognized at the National Excellence in Urban Education Symposium in San Diego. West Manor received The Silver Award for $2,500.
In competition with urban schools around the nation, West Manor had to meet a long list of student performance criteria to be recognized as one of the finalists for this national award. Criteria included- high achievement scores, high attendance rates and low suspension rates for all students. Collectively the students had to demonstrate rates of proficiency that exceeded the proficiency rates for all students in the state of Georgia.
The NCUST visited the finalist schools at the beginning of the year. The 16 schools chosen, including West Manor, demonstrated the greatest evidence of effectiveness among all student populations they deliver rigorous content, engaging instruction and foster positive relationships among students, teachers parents and administrators.
During the symposium West Manor was recognized as the 2013 Title I “Highest Performing School” in Georgia and also applauded for having more than 90 percent of all West Manor fourth and fifth grade students and over 86 percent of all third grade students demonstrate proficiency in each subject tested by the state in 2012-2013.
As a part of the symposium agenda, Principal Reginald Lawrence spoke about how West Manor uses Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) to enable all teachers to teach at high levels of effectiveness. He shared how he used scheduling and an administrative PLC to guide the work of teachers and increase his staff’s commitment to change.
West Manor claimed another victory during the symposium. Third grade student Deandrea West was selected as a finalist in the NCUST Excellence in Urban Education Speech Contest. Students of award-winning schools were invited to submit a video of their speech. Deandrea submitted a speech about how West Manor Elementary is shaping her into the person she wants to become and won $200 for her accomplishment. A video of her speech can be seen below.
NCUST was founded as part of the QUALCOMM Institute for Innovation and Educational Success at San Diego State University. The mission of the NCUST is to help urban school districts and their partners transform school into institutions where all students achieve academic proficiency, evidence a love of learning, and graduate well-‐prepared to succeed in post-‐secondary education, the workplace, and their community.