5th graders at Dryden School score No. 1 in state on Math MCAS - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

5th graders at Dryden School score No. 1 in state on Math MCAS

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

Fifth graders at the Mary Dryden Veterans Memorial School in Springfield placed first in the state on their Math MCAS scores. It is an accomplishment that students at the school say they are very proud of.

"I felt surprised and pretty happy because that was the first time I've actually experienced me actually doing the test and being No. 1 in the state," said fifth-grader Stephen Gibbons.

"When I heard it over the announcements it was really surprising because it was my first time doing it," said fifth-grader Jacklynn Donaingue.

Principal Diane Brouillard said lots of hard work went into achieving those results.

"The teachers here, they go 100 percent and beyond, every single day, trying to reach every single student in every single classroom," said Brouillard.

In addition to the top math spot, fifth-graders ranked fourth in English. And fourth- and third-graders scored second and fourth in math, respectively.

"We always tell them you can do it, no matter where you start, you can get to success," said Brouillard.

"We just were amazed, No. 1 out of 878 schools," said Ellen Liebel, the school's math instructional coach. "There is one strategy that I think has helped us over a number of years; we have really made sure that our students show all of their work"

Eight students at the school scored perfect in math and one scored perfect in English.

Brouillard said the accomplishments mean even more because of the challenges the school has  faced following the June 2011 tornado.

"Since then, these students have been surrounded with workmen, noise; teachers have packed boxes, unpacked boxes," said Brouillard.

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