By John R. Schirmer
Nashville Junior High School has been recognized as one of the highest-achieving junior high schools in the state by the Office for Education Policy at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. The school received four awards from OEP.
NJHS was named Southwest Region Overall High Achieving, Southwest Region English/Language Arts High Achieving, Southwest Region Math High Achieving and Southwest Region Science High Achieving.
Nashville Elementary was also recognized by OEP and received two awards which were featured in the March 8 News-Leader.
“I’m proud of the job our teachers have done to prepare students for the ACT Aspire,” NJHS Principal Deb Tackett said. “I’m happy with our students’ performance.”
Aspire is the state-mandated test for Arkansas schools and was adopted for 2015-16.
NJHS is “gearing up to take the Aspire at the end of April. We want our scores to be even better,” Tackett said.
OEP awards are grouped by school level and by region. Science is included, along with math and English/Language arts to calculate overall achievement.
OEP calculates a GPA for schools based on the number of students who perform at each level on Aspire.
In the past, NJHS has been recognized by OEP in the Beating the Odds category for high performing schools serving low-income communities.
This year’s awards are for schools demonstrating the highest performance on the Aspire and include winners among all schools statewide.
Nashville Junior High was ranked among the top five schools in Southwest Arkansas by OEP and was the highest ranked among schools including grades 7-9.
“We want to be in the top 20 overall for high-achieving schools statewide,” Tackett said. “For us to be able to compete and be extremely close to Northwest Arkansas and Little Rock schools says a lot about our school.”
Tackett said the awards can be attributed to quality education throughout the Nashville School District. “From kindergarten on, these students had good teachers all the way through. Primary and elementary work hard. What happens in K-3 and 4-6 gets our kids ready. What we do gets them ready to do well” on the college-entrance ACT in high school.
NJHS received award certificates from OEP in recognition of the school’s performance.