ADE names Luxora Elementary 'Exemplary School'

LUXORA, AR (KAIT) - The Arkansas Department of Education has named Luxora Elementary a 2011 Exemplary School. 

Luxora Elementary is one of 19 schools in the state of Arkansas to receive the designation.


"There are five levels that schools are being designated and exemplary is the top level," said Luxora principal Gloria Phillips.


Exemplary status is based on Benchmark test scores and closing the achievement gaps between at-risk students and the general population of students.


"When I came to Luxora about 14 years ago, we had about 19 percent of our students proficient and advanced," Principal Phillips said. "Now, we're looking at, in literacy, we have about 95 percent of our students proficient and advanced, and in math we're at about 88 percent."


Principal Phillips attributes the gains her students have made to being able to departmentalize teachers and incorporating more individualized learning in classes.


"In third and fourth grade we had a reading teacher, we had a math teacher, and then we had a teacher who did writing and science and social studies."

Luxora Elementary has students from kindergarten to fourth grade. Ten-year-old Mykia Depriest said she thinks she is ready for fifth grade at Wilson Middle School because of the instruction she received at LES.


"The math teacher, she helps you. If you have something that you don't understand you just ask her and she'll explain it in a better way," she said


"When I was in third grade coming to fourth, I forget a few things and I had forgot some of my division and I was doing it wrong and Ms. Henton my math teacher, she helped me out and I got through that test I had got a 85 I think on that test when she helped me," said 10-year-old James Tacker.

Principal Phillips said she also had to work at changing the culture of the school.


"I really started working with my staff first making sure that they had the belief that all children could succeed, and I'm going to tell you that was a challenge for a while," she said. "They set high expectations for the students and the students reached those high expectations."

Luxora Elementary School students start school August 20.

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