What Does It Take to be Number One?

November 3, 2005 – Posted at 5:12 p.m. CDT
JONESBORO, AR – K8 News reported earlier this week that the Valley View School District in Jonesboro won the Golden Apple award, ranking the school number one in the state... an award the school has won the past two years.
“The school district as a whole, the administration wants to make sure that this is a learning environment and they are going to do everything that they can to make sure that the students are learning,” said high school geometry teacher Cindy Chadwick.
And apparently they are. Ranked number one in the state based on benchmark scores, educators at Valley View place a strong emphasis on more than just the three R's.
“These exams test whether or not at individual levels they are proficient in what they are expected to know,” said Intermediate Principal Dr. Sharon Taylor, “Our instruction is tied directly to the frameworks, to what it is, and what is important for children to know.”
“They go above and beyond and they really try in the classroom,” said Chadwick.
Valley View says its greatest weapon in teaching students is parent and community involvement, and administrators say having a strong base is what separates them from the rest of the schools on the Golden Apple list.
“I have parents contacting me on the fore front asking and wanting to keep up with what the students are doing in class. If I have a problem in class they are the first...I can just call them and take care of it,” said Chadwick.
While unlocking the key to learning can start at home, administrators at Valley View hope to teach students how to think outside the box.
“What children are being taught to focus on requires high order thinking and so the challenge to teachers is to teach the children how to think, beyond just the knowledge level,” said Dr. Taylor.
 The complete Golden Apple Top 10 includes:
1.Valley View School District
2. Bentonville School District
3. Salem School District
4. Greenwood School District
5. Parker’s chapel School District
6. Fayetteville School District
7. Melbourne School District
8. Valley springs School District
9. Searcy School District
10. Bergman School District .