Crothersville Elementary Earns State 4-Star School Status

Just before Christmas the State Department of Education delivered a wonderful Christmas gift to the Crothersville school and community: Crothersville Elementary earned a 4-star rating by the state.
“This is the pinnacle of achievement in education in Indiana, and we are extremely excited about it,” Superintendent Terry Goodin said. “It was a great team effort from people who are 100 percent dedicated.”
Crothersville was the only school in Jackson County and was one of only 162 public schools in the state to receive the award for the 2010-2011 school year.
To be considered a Four Star School, Crothersville had to perform in the top 25 percent of schools in the state in math and English on the ISTEP+ as well as meet Adequate Yearly Progress under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
Goodin said the formula for being a Four Star School isn’t complicated, but that Crothersville is lucky to have all the right ingredients.
“You take great kids, hard-working staff and faculty, an administrator like Principal Chris Marshall and a caring community and that equals success,” Goodin said. “My congratulations goes to those folks. They have worked their tails off and it has paid off.”
“When you have four star students and four star staff this is what you get,” Marshall said. “What a great Christmas present.”
The staff, he said, has “literally transformed the school in the last four years.”
“It goes back to passionate teachers who are committed to excellence,” he said. “It takes compassion and a commitment to change.”
With about only 285 students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade, Marshall said the school has a culture and philosophy of “every child counts.”
He also gave credit to Goodin and the school board for their leadership and support.
“They are always there asking what they can do to support us,” Marshall said. “They see the importance of pro-active education.”
One way the school is being proactive is through its technology plan, which has made Crothersville Elementary one of the most technologically advanced schools in the state.
“The school board has allowed us to spend thousands of dollars on technology so that we have electronic Promethean boards in every classroom and our students are using Expression handheld devices, Renaissance responders and iPad 2s.”
The students’ response to the use of technology in the classrooms and the teachers’ willingness to learn new ways of teaching are why Crothersville is seeing such dramatic progress, Marshall said.
“When you engage kids in technology, you will see improvement,” Marshall said. “We have a very differentiated program that supports all students at every level.”
That improvement was clear in the school’s most recent ISTEP+ scores.
“We are close to 90 percent passing in all tested grades,” he said. “But that will be a challenge to sustain those scores.”
“I have to thank the parents,” he said. “I have challenged them to a higher commitment to education and they have really come through. We have had a 98 percent attendance rate the last couple of years because parents are making sure their kids are in school. If they aren’t, then I’m out knocking on doors.”
This is the second state recognized academic honor for the local school. In late August both the elementary and high school were given Grade A-the top score-by the Department of Education based on academic progress, improvement and attendance.