ACE Recognized as a School on the Move Towards Excellence
November 17, 2021
Congratulations to our award-winning conversion charter school the Academic Center of Excellence (ACE)! The Arkansas Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) recently honored ACE as a School on the Move Towards Excellence for the 2021-2022 school year.
Despite the challenges of the pandemic, the Academic Center of Excellence increased their overall ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) school Index Score by 10.04 points, and their Weighted achievement by 30.08 points!
ACE was one of only two schools in the state to increase their overall ESSA Score by more than 10 points!
Schools on the Move Towards Excellence is a statewide campaign to celebrate positive growth on the current state and federal accountability reports.
Academic Center for Excellence: From 50.83 to 60.87
The Academic Center for Excellence is part of the Cabot School District. Located in the central part of the state, the Academic Center for Excellence serves grades 5-12. Their Overall ESSA Score increased from 50.83 to 60.87 from the 2018-2019 academic year to 2020-2021. The school saw its weighted achievement score increase from 15.31 during the 2018-2019 year to 45.39 for the 2020-2021 academic year.
Figure 1: Academic Center for Excellence ESSA School Index Indicators for 2018-19 and 2020-21
Individualized instruction was a critical element to the Academic Center for Excellence’s growth on the ESSA School Index. Cabot’s Executive Director of K-12 Curriculum and Gifted/AP Programs, Aaron Randolph, said the district “began to reimagine what education looks like for each student through an individualized lens to better prepare them for the future.” Professional learning communities (PLCs) allowed teachers to reshape the student learning experience. During PLCs, educators collaborated to design vertical alignment, plan targeted interventions, and share best practices to meet the needs of ACE’s unique student population. Data-informed instruction, personalized learning, and teacher collaboration proved valuable, as ACE grew 30.08 points on its ESSA Weighted Achievement score.
Cultivating strong relationships with students and caregivers allowed ACE staff to support students throughout the pandemic. The creation of the Parent Teacher Student Organization (PTSO) and expanded communication channels allowed for increased levels of parental involvement. ACE staff used many strategies to build a positive school culture. Students receive support such as flexible scheduling, course selection, and small group sessions with the school counselor. Additionally, teachers underwent professional development on trauma-informed teaching and working with students who experienced adverse childhood experiences.
The Academic Center for Excellence’s commitment to supporting students’ academic, emotional, and social needs is evident in its ESSA School Index growth. Randolph shared that the news of the School Index increase affirmed the work of ACE staff and its positive impact on student achievement. With individualized instruction, student support, and parent involvement, ACE will continue to keep positive relationships at the heart of its program.
Congratulations once again to our Academic Center of Excellence on this significant achievement. We are Panther Proud of our students and staff!