Blaine high school earns top marks

Published on Wed, Feb 16, 2011 by By Jeremy Schwartz

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Blaine high school has received high marks in statewide achievement scores recently released by the state board of education.

The high school, which has about 164 students enrolled, was rated “exemplary” with an achievement score of 5.5 out of a possible seven for the 2009-2010 year.

Lynden high school, with 216 students enrolled, ranked “very good” with a score of 5.35, and Ferndale high school with 381 students ranked “good” with a score of 4.15.

Blaine high school vastly improved over their achievement score of 3.95, a “fair” ranking, during the 2008-2009 school year.
The scores are based on a school’s performance on the state’s two standardized tests and other demographic factors.

The state board partnered with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction to provide the scores to school districts as a snapshot of their performances in language arts, math, science and graduation rates.

Blaine high school principal Scott Ellis said he is incredibly proud of his faculty and students for this achievement.

He said his staff has been doing a great deal of hard work to improve the school’s science test scores and graduation rate.

Blaine superintendent Ron Spanjer said the high school’s graduation rate is a testament to the quality of the district as a whole because it shows students come into high school with the tools they need to do well.

“[Improving the graduation rate] has been a huge piece for us,” Spanjer said.

High school faculty heavily encourage students to become engaged with their teachers, which is one of the reasons Ellis said the students continue to improve in test scores.

This support in their final years of pre-college education caps off the encouragement they have received throughout their experiences in the school district, he explained.

“I want every student to actively participate with their teachers,” Ellis said. “If they’re not, they’re missing something.”

In addition to encouragement inside the classroom, Ellis praised the feeling prevalent in the wider community that kids are the number one priority. Above all else, he said that’s what he is most proud of.