The honor recognizes outstanding school efforts in special education.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Seven schools from Mahoning County and two from Columbiana County have been recognized as "Schools of Distinction" by the Ohio Department of Education.
The honor program, initiated by the state last year, recognizes individual schools where 75 percent of all pupils, including pupils with disabilities, scored proficient or above on achievement tests or the Ohio Graduation Test in reading and mathematics.
"Overall school performance increases when students with disabilities receive access to the general curriculum as well as individualized instruction and support," said Susan Tave Zelman, state superintendent of public instruction. "These schools are helping improve academic achievement for all students."
When teachers and schools believe that pupils with disabilities can meet high academic standards, their performance meets and often exceeds expectations, Zelman said.
A total of 83 schools received the "Schools of Distinction" designation. The local schools are:
Watson Elementary in Austintown.
Robinwood Lane Elementary in Boardman.
Stadium Drive Elementary in Boardman.
Hilltop Elementary in Canfield.
North Elementary in Poland.
South Range Elementary.
Western Reserve High School.
Calcutta Elementary in Beaver.
Columbiana High School.
Educator teams honored
In addition, teams of educators at two local schools were among 16 teams or individuals to be presented with the state's Walter-Horn Partnering for Progress Award, given to educators whose efforts enhance accountability for pupil achievement and build capacity for standards-based instruction.
The honorees are the Leetonia Elementary School Building Team in Columbiana County and the Youngstown Community School Building Team in Mahoning County.
The award is named after Franklin B. Walter, former superintendent of public instruction, and Raymond A. Horn, former assistant state superintendent. Walter developed the first statewide plan for children with disabilities, and Horn dedicated more than 50 years to improving the quality of learning for pupils with disabilities.