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Vina earns a $11,000 AYP award

By Staff
Kim West
VINA – The Vina High School faculty will have some extra spending money for teaching materials this spring after the school earned its first $11,000 exceeding the Challenge grant from the state Board of Education.
The money, which has already been disbursed to the school and will be used by the school on instructional materials and programs as voted by the Vina faculty, was awarded through the state's Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) monetary award program, which is jointly funded by state and federal funds and mandated by the No Child Left Behind Act.
The awards program recognizes schools that make significant improvements in closing the achievement gap between specific subgroups of at least 40 students and that meet their AYP goals for two or more years in a row.
"A school is recognized for meeting or exceeding state (testing) standards for the first year, and then the school is recognized with a monetary award for the second year for tests results that met or exceeded the standards," said James Pharr, Vina principal for the past six years. "Our poverty students not only met the (AYP) standards – they exceeded them."
Vina was the only school in the Franklin County Schools system this year to receive a monetary award, which was reduced due to proration. Red Bay High School and Phil Campbell High School are past recipients of AYP awards. This year's grants were based on the 2007-08 and 2006-07 test results of students in grades 3-8 and eleventh grade. Russellville Elementary and West Elementary in the Russellville City Schools system also received $11,000 awards this year.
Besides Exceeding the Challenge, the state also gives out monetary recognition for Advancing the Challenge, Meeting the Challenge, Addressing the Challenge or being rated as a Torchbearer School.
"I appreciate (Superintendent Gary) Williams and the school board, including our school board member, Randy Hester, for always supporting us," Pharr said. "I also want to thank the parents and the community, and a special thanks for the (Vina) staff for their hard work and dedication to school improvement."