Roosevelt Elementary Accepts National School Change Award

Roosevelt Elementary School this week was one of only six schools nationwide to receive the 2006 National School Change Award for significant and sustained improvement in student achievement.

The award is given by the National Principals Leadership Institute at the Fordham University Graduate School of Education.

"Never give up," Lew Smith, Director of the National Principals Leadership Institute, told students as he presented the award at Roosevelt during a morning ceremony that included staff, parents and community leaders. "That’s the story of this school, and that’s going to be the story of your life."

Principal Stefanie Holzman has led the school to a 182-point gain on the state’s Academic Performance Index (API) during the past five years, far exceeding the state’s 30-point target. The school has now achieved an API of 763 and is fast approaching the state’s ultimate target for all schools, 800 points. All ethnic and socioeconomic sub-groups of students have achieved expected gains.

About 63 percent of students at Roosevelt are English-language learners, and all students are on free lunch programs.
"What we say at Roosevelt is, if we can do it here, anybody can do it," Principal Holzman said. "I’m very pleased that our staff is getting this national recognition for their hard work. I’m even more pleased for our students."

In addition to the awards presentation at the school, Holzman and selected Roosevelt teachers will travel to New York in July for a national awards presentation by the U.S. Department of Education. While in New York City, the principal and a teacher also will participate in a Principals Leadership Institute at Fordham University. The award comes with a $5,000 grant that will help cover the cost of the trip. The focus of the institute will be team building.

Holzman attributes Roosevelt’s success to the use of data to drive high quality instruction, collaboration and self-reflection by teachers.

Nominated schools submit data to demonstrate significant schoolwide change, improved teaching and learning, and measurably increased achievement. Over the past seven years, 474 schools have been nominated for the Fordham honor. Only 42, or six each year, have been selected as winners. More than 100 nominations were submitted this year. A national panel of judges selected the winning schools.

Roosevelt last month was named one of 17 schools in the Long Beach Unified School District to earn the Title I Academic Achievement Award. Title I winners must demonstrate the achievement level of twice the schoolwide API growth target and twice the API growth target for the socio-economically disadvantaged subgroup for two consecutive years.

In 2004, Roosevelt earned the California Distinguished School Award.