Eastern Middle School wins Momentum Award from ODE

By Wayne Gates – 

For the second year in a row, Eastern Middle School is being honored by the Ohio Department of Education.
The district has received a second Momentum Award, which means that the school has received A’s on every value-added measure included on the 2017 Ohio School Report Card. Eastern Middle School’s report card for the 2016-2017 school year indicates that Eastern Middle School students made greater than expected progress in reading and mathematics.
“We are feeling a wonderful sense of deja vu here at EMS, as we are receiving the State Board of Education Momentum Award for the second straight year,” said EMS Principal Jordan Michael.
“I am beyond proud of the Eastern Middle School students, staff, parents, and community stakeholders. I believe this award speaks volumes about not only the quality of educators we have in the Eastern Local School District but the quality of people in the community that have such an impact on our kids.”
Michael continued, “This award should also fall on the shoulders of those teachers at the lower levels, who have such a significant impact on every student that comes to us at the middle school level. We are excited to continue setting the achievement bar high and keep moving forward each year, as each school year is an opportunity for us to make a difference.”
A letter sent to Michael by the ODE reads in part, “This (award) is especially commendable because you no doubt have a diverse array of students whose educational backgrounds and learning needs vary. As a winner of a Momentum Award, you are part of a group of schools that is showing that children of every background and ability level can achieve. Members of the State Board of Education appreciate your leadership and dedication of your staff to achieve this success. Please convey our thanks to your teachers, support staff and parents for believing that every child can succeed academically and for making sure that every child does. For your students, you are keeping the learning momentum high!”
Eastern Superintendent Michelle Filon was also very pleased with the award.
“For the past few years, public schools have been faced with constant changes in testing – Proficiency Test, PARCC, and now AIR. Our students, however, have been the constant in this equation. As long as we help every child reach his or her potential,  the indicators will come,” Filon said.
“I am very proud of our students  and staff at Eastern Middle School – a place where EVERY student’s success is mission critical!”
Michael said that students who advance more than a year’s worth of growth in a school year get a huge benefit.
“It helps close the achievement gap.  If we have students that are behind and they make more than one year’s worth of progress, that means that they are catching up and that achievement gap is closing,” Michael said.
He also had high praise for the staff at the school.
“We are lucky at the middle school to have a very strong climate and culture.  A lot of the changes we’ve made over the past three years or so to attack challenge areas are paying off.  We are seeing the dividends of a lot of hard work by a lot of great people,” Michael said.
The composite score for Eastern as determined by the ODE was ranked 37th out of over 3,000 schools in the state of Ohio.