November 29, 2014

Pinny Elementary ‘Beating the Odds’

By James Kuch
News Editor | news@arenacindependent.com
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PINCONNING — The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) has identified Pinconning Central Elementary as one of 135 schools in Michigan that are “Beating the Odds.”

“These are schools that are doing remarkable things to help their students achieve, despite the odds being stacked against them,” said state Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan in a statement.

Pinconning Central Elementary was listed in the first of two studies conducted by the MDE, showing schools that are performing above predicted levels based on risk factors. The first study listed 63 schools, while the second study listed 72 schools.

“This ultimately is about what teachers are doing with their students in the classroom and principal leadership,” Flanagan said.

Principal John Sanford said the recognition is a testament to everyone working with students in the school.

“From the teachers to the paraprofessionals, everyone who works with our students are responsible,” he said. “This award is a testament to everyone in the building.”

Sanford said being recognized by the MDE means the school is doing everything it can to educate its students.

“I think this shows we are doing the best with the resources that are allocated to us,” he said.

One of the reasons Sanford feels Pinconning Central Elementary is seeing success fro its students, is because of the teachers helping the students understand what they are being taught.

Sanford said the teachers’ “willingness and ability” to help students learn updated curriculum, has made the school successful.

“The bar has definitely been raised the past several years,” he said. “What was expected from students a few years ago is different now. Our teachers are stepping up and realizing these are things that they need to do.”

Sanford said the staff at Pinconning Central Elementary has high expectations of the students.

“I feel like our building has always had high expectations of our kids,” he said. “We are ahead of the game. This is what we want, and what we need to do.”

Sanford has been the principal at Pinconning Central Elementary School for 16 years. He said the school has won awards in the past, such as the Golden Apple Award in 2002.

“I think we have done a wonderful job influencing our students,” he said. “They have bought into the importance of our curriculum.”

Sanford said the people working, at the school, for the students, should be commended.

“It’s great to know that I work with wonderful people that are making a difference,” he said.

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