Lakeview High School goes from state’s bottom 5% to county’s highest achieving

By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 11:18 am on Wednesday, August 28, 2013

LAKEVIEW — Three years ago, Lakeview High School was placed on the state’s list of lowest-achieving schools, and district residents were left reeling.

Last week, the school was placed on another list. This time, everybody’s smiling.

Lakeview High School has been named a Reward School by the Michigan Department of Education, thanks to academic gains that are among the best in the state.

According to Lakeview Community Schools Superintendent Kyle Hamlin, the good news comes on the heels of significant academic progress at the school. Student scores on the college readiness exam ACT have been steadily getting better over the last four years. Also, Michigan Merit Exam (MME) scores, which provide valuable information regarding the academic progress of students, have been getting better over the same time frame.

This past spring, Lakeview High School scored an ACT composite average of 19.7 — the highest score in Montcalm County. MME scores for the high school showed positive gains, ranging from an increase of 12 points in writing to a 2 point increase in science proficiency.

Lakeview High School Gary Jensen praised the work of teachers and families in support of the students. He said the academic gains are also the result of closely monitoring student achievement data to make sure students stay on course for success. The high school offers academic intervention classes, instructional coaches to help support teachers and an academic interventionist to work with students who needed additional help with language arts and math.

“Our teachers and staff have worked hard to build strong relationships with the students and to make sure there is good communication on these critically important academic issues,” Jensen said. “We have encouraged  students to become involved in athletics and extra-curricular activities, the kinds of that help make a well-rounded student. We are very proud of our progress, but we are not resting on this achievement. We will continue to concentrate every day on these key initiatives to continue improving student achievement.”

In other school news, Lakeview Middle School, despite showing overall growth in most core academic testing areas, was designated as a Focus School, which means that an achievement gap exists between its top 30 percent of students and its bottom 30 percent.

“We  still have work to do,” Hamlin said. “We take great pride in developing our school improvement plan and have incorporated multiple activities that we believe will help reduce the achievement gaps. We are redesigning our student support systems throughout the district, will utilize our grant funds to provide quality teachers for interventions at the middle school and elementary, working with instructional coaches throughout the district and adding curriculum coordinating positions to support these efforts.”

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