Madison City Schools wins national award

By Staff
Thomas Tingle
Record Managing Editor
Schools in Madison continue to be nationally recognized.
Madison City Schools has been selected as one of 24 winners in the American School Board Journal's Magna Awards 2003 program and Heritage Elementary School has been named one of 19 nationwide semifinalists for the 2003 National Schools Character Award.
The local school system was honored for its "Ounce of Prevention" program, which identifies students struggling in reading and math and provides them with after-school tutoring and four-week summer seminars.
After strong gains in test scores were achieved, the K-6 program was expanded this year to include seventh, eighth and ninth grades. Some 150-200 students in Madison's seven schools are involved in the after-school tutoring.
American School Board Journal initiated the Magna Awards in 1995 to recognize local school boards for taking steps to improve its educational programs. An independent panel of school board members and other educators selected this year's winners and seven honorable mention recipients from almost 400 applicants.
The 2003 winners will be highlighted in a special supplement to the April issue of ASBJ and formally recognized on April 7 at a school leaders luncheon in San Francisco.
Programs such as the "Thought of the Week", "Peer Helpers", the "Word of the Month" and "Business Pen Pals" are among nearly a dozen programs instituted at Heritage Elementary School that has led the school in becoming one of 19 nationwide semifinalists for the 2003 National Schools Character Award.
The school had a visit from a team of judges from Washington D.C. to tour the school and to talk with teachers and students about the recognition.
A National School of Character is a school or district recognized for having an outstanding character initiative. The school's principal, Dr. Lydia Davenport, said Heritage's character initiative is built around six core values. They include: kindness, respect, responsibility, determination, trustworthiness and citizenship.

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