Story and Photos by James Preminger, CCSD Public Relations
Ojo Amarillo Elementary School awarded approximately 150 certificates to students in grades 4th, 5th, and 6th for demonstrating proficiency and / or growth on their PARCC assessment scores for math and / or English Language Arts from 2015 to 2016.
The Ojo Amarillo Elementary ceremony, which took placed in a packed gymnasium full of parents, students, and staff, was part of the District’s PARCC Pride Day—held Sept. 23, 2016—for all 15 schools. Some Central Consolidated School District schools celebrated on different days.
“The students are very proud,” Ojo Amarillo Elementary Principal Abena McNeely said about receiving the certificates. They took the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, known as PARCC, last spring.
The Superintendent Academic Excellence Award for Academic Achievement on the PARCC certificates were also presented to the top two students in each grade level district wide.
“I was actually really moved by it,” said Ojo Amarillo Elementary parent Suzanna Tsosie about her 5th grade daughter. “I’ve been pushing her to do better in all that she does. She improved a lot, so I was really excited about that.”
The PARCC assessment, now in its second year in New Mexico, measures growth and proficiency in math and English Language Arts.
Following the Ojo Amarillo Elementary ceremony, a dance was held for the lower grades in the gymnasium, along with an ice cream social, while the upper grades went outside on the playground. After about an hour they switched.
Students in teacher Lena Howard-Johnson’s 3rd grade class decided to go upstairs to their classroom to read, since they said it was too cold to be on the playground. A two-day storm, which brought lower temperatures to the Four Corners region of New Mexico, was just leaving the area.
As they read, the students kept anticipating an intercom announcement that it was time for them to go downstairs to the gymnasium for the dance.
“We are working hard towards taking the PARCC for the first time in the spring,” Howard-Johnson said. “The certificates were great—to let them know there is an award at the end, and to let them know what is possible, what is achievable.”