By Clair Mays
Arkadelphia Public Schools
Perritt Primary School Principal Heather Williams received word on Thursday that Perritt has been selected as a recipient of the 2022 RISE School Award by the Arkansas Department of Education-Division of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Perritt will be recognized this July at the 2022 Arkansas Department of Education Summit being held at the Hot Springs Convention Center. Perritt Primary School is one of only 10 schools in Arkansas receiving this award. Perritt is the K-2 campus for the Arkadelphia Public School District.
The school celebrated the news at a school event in May.
The Reading Initiative for Student Excellence, RISE Arkansas, fosters a culture of reading by coordinating a statewide reading campaign with community partners, parents, and teachers to establish the importance of reading in communities, homes, and schools. The first goal of RISE Arkansas is to “sharpen the focus and strengthen instruction.” RISE training was developed in 2017 to bring evidence-based teaching practices to the classroom.
RISE Arkansas recognizes schools that have successfully implemented the RISE practices. Perritt was one of 31 schools in the state to submit an application for the award and one of 22 schools that advanced to the second round of the application process. A team of RISE specialists spent a day visiting Perritt looking for schoolwide implementation of RISE strategies and practices aligned with the science of reading based on a rubric that looked closely at the reading instructional shifts in twelve different areas. The minimum score for RISE Award winners is 36 out of 48 points. Perritt’s final score was 41 which earned the recognition as a 2022 RISE School Award winner.
The RISE team gave this feedback to Perritt after their visit: “Perritt Primary was a very inviting place to visit. When we arrived, students were being greeted by the school administration and staff as lively music played in the background. The hallways had student writing and visual displays that were kid-friendly and colorful. Each class we visited showed great connections between students and staff. The students seemed to enjoy being in school and were used to having people come in to watch their work. The administration was open to questions and feedback and the teachers wanted to know how to get better in any area. This school is a great example of combining the PLC process and RISE training and implementing it for the benefit of each student.”