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Middle Ridge keeps attitude positive
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Middle Ridge Elementary may have the highest free and reduced lunch rate in the county and 20 percent of its students may be classified as Students with Disabilities, but none of this keeps MRES from working hard to be the best they can be at everything they do.

"The combination of the highest Free and Reduced lunch rate in the county at approximately 88 percent, combined with a Student with Disabilities population that equals 20 percent of the school population for the last three years offers unique challenges," said Principal Alan Satterfield. "Those challenges have been met and student achievement has been consistently made over the past three years. Since the 2009 CRCT, Middle Ridge has made double digit percentage gains in all subgroups in math, and significant percentage gains in all subgroups in Reading/ELA. This year Middle Ridge made a 17 percent gain on the fifth grade writing assessment.

"Without a doubt I know the gains made in student achievement are a direct result of the hard work and dedication of the staff. In my educational career I have worked at the elementary, middle and high school levels, as well as the central office, and I can wholeheartedly say working with the students, staff and parents at Middle Ridge has been the most rewarding experience of my career. The staff at Middle Ridge goes above and beyond and demonstrates daily a genuine concern for all students. I am grateful to be a part of such a talented group of professionals," Satterfield continued.

"Professional learning communities, common assessments and technology are all areas of focus for Middle Ridge.

Professional learning communities and common assessments implemented in the last two years have allowed the staff to ensure high expectations are maintained for all students. Middle Ridge has successfully installed Activ Boards, Activ vote systems and audio enhancement systems in all classrooms. In addition to what is available in the class, teachers and students have access to three computer labs, wireless laptop carts, a netbook cart and iPads. As we prepare for the release of the Common Core our effective use of PLCs and technology will enhance our ability to continue to make gains in student achievement."

Superintendent Gary Mathews agreed, saying, "With over 80 percent of its student body on free or reduced lunch, Middle Ridge is one of our more academically ‘at-risk' schools. Yet the real news is the positive learning environment created for students by teachers, support staff, and administration. Kids are cared about, the faculty is open to learning and using best practices, and the administration has put forth a real ‘can-do' attitude accepting challenges as opportunities. The school earned federal Adequate Yearly Progress coming into last 2011-12 school year at a time they were not suppose to given the federal prediction model. It just goes to show how working together a school can succeed for all groups of children. We're very proud of MRES."