At a ceremony at the Rockwell School (Bristol Warren), Governor Raimondo yesterday (June 14, 2016) honored the 17 schools that the R.I. Department of Education (RIDE) has designated as 2016 Commended Schools, the highest classification on the Rhode Island accountability system.

The Rockwell School and the Fort Barton Elementary School (Tiverton) have been commended for four consecutive years.

Commended Schools are recognized because of their high achievement levels on state assessments, narrow achievement gaps, and progress made over time. All Commended Schools must also have participation rates of 95 percent or better on state assessments.

“Commended Schools have earned these awards because they challenge their students to do their best and because they support the learning needs of each one of their students,” Governor Raimondo said. “Test scores are one way to measure our progress and achievement, but first and foremost comes excellent instruction and commitment to the well-being of every child. Our Commended Schools are helping students build the skills that matter, which will ensure their success in postsecondary education and in challenging careers.”

The Commended Schools are:

  • Barrington: Barrington Middle School, Sowams Elementary School
  • Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy Elementary School 2, Blackstone Valley Prep High School
  • Bristol Warren: Rockwell School (4 years commended)
  • Chariho: Hope Valley Elementary School
  • The Compass School
  • Cranston: Orchard Farms Elementary School, Stone Hill School (2 years commended)
  • East Greenwich: Archie R. Cole Middle School (2 years commended)
  • Jamestown: Jamestown School-Melrose
  • Johnston: Brown Avenue School
  • Lincoln: Central Elementary School
  • South Kingstown: Matunuck Elementary School (2 years commended), Peace Dale Elementary School, Wakefield Elementary School
  • Tiverton: Fort Barton Elementary School (4 years commended)

The 2016 Commended Schools achieved the honor based on results from the previous (2014-15) school year; RIDE announced the list of 2016 Commended schools in February.

What they’re saying:

Barbara S. Cottam, Chair, Board of Education:

“On behalf of the Board of Education, I congratulate our 17 commended schools, which we have recognized not only for their excellent levels of student achievement but also for closing achievement gaps and attaining high participation rates on state assessments. I want to thank the students, teachers, and families in these school communities for their commitment to excellence.”

Daniel P. McConaghy, Chair, Council on Elementary and Secondary Education:

“Among the many excellent schools in Rhode Island, these 17 schools have demonstrated high achievement for the school as a whole and for all student groups. We hope to see more schools attain Commended status in future years.”

Ken Wagner, Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education:

“When we look for greatness in our schools, we also look for evidence of high expectations for all students, a commitment to social-emotional learning and to a safe and healthy school climate, and a commitment to personalized instruction – giving students the opportunity to learn based on the unique interests and skills. We congratulate all of our 2016 Commended Schools and encourage them to share their best practices with other schools across Rhode Island.”