Wren High recognized for high achievement

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National High Schools That Work
Wren High has been selected as a national High Schools That Work (HSTW) Platinum High Achievement School. The award is based on the success of local school leaders and teachers in improving school practices and raising student achievement. The award was presented by Dave Spence, president of the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), at the 26th Annual HSTW Staff Development Conference in New Orleans on July 11.

Robbie Binnicker, Principal at Wren High said, “We are very proud to be recognized as a HSTW Platinum Achievement School.  An award of this magnitude is not possible without the full support and tremendous work of students, faculty, staff, parents, feeder schools, and district office personnel.”

Wren High School also won this award in 2007.  At that time it was called the “Pace Setter Award”.  Wren was named a Palmetto’s Finest High School in 2010 – an award given to the top school in the state. This year’s 2012 HSTW Platinum High Achievement Award for Wren High was given to only 16 HSTW schools across the nation.

Spence praised the school for its achievement, pointing out that it takes dedication and hard work on the part of state, district and school leaders and teachers to make progress in preparing students for college and careers. He presented the award before an audience of more than 5,000 educators from across the nation attending the HSTW conference.

To be recognized as an HSTW Platinum High Achievement School, schools must meet a variety of criteria. Platinum High Achievement schools deeply implement the HSTW design, teach students a rigorous academic curriculum linked to a program of study, have high student achievement, and have a high graduation rate or meet the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) criteria of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

“This school has shown what can be accomplished to raise student achievement by deeply implementing the High Schools That Work model for strengthening curriculum and instruction,” said Gene Bottoms, SREB senior vice president and founder of HSTW. “The school illustrates the spirit of change and the gains in performance that High Schools That Work advocates and supports through assessment, staff development and technical assistance.”

The largest SREB program, HSTW is a national, comprehensive school improvement design based on the premise that most students can master rigorous academic and career/technical studies if school leaders and teachers create a school environment that motivates all students to make the effort to succeed.

The HSTW initiative is the nation’s first large-scale effort to engage state, district and school leaders in partnership with teachers, students, parents and the community to equip all students with the knowledge and skills needed to graduate from high school and succeed in college and the workplace. More than 1, 200 high schools in 30 states and the District of Columbia participate in the HSTW school improvement initiative.