||Studies show quality schools impact student achievement
District of Columbia study
A study of the District of Columbia school system found, after controlling for other variables such as a student’s socioeconomic status, that students’ standardized achievement scores were lower in schools with poor building conditions. Students in school buildings in poor condition had achievement that was 6 percent below schools in fair condition and 11 percent below schools in excellent condition. (Building Conditions, Parental Involvement and Student Achievement in the D.C. Public School System, Maureen M. Edwards, Georgetown University, 1992)
Rural Virginia High Schools
Another study examined the relationship between building condition and student achievement in small, rural Virginia high schools. Student scores on achievement tests, adjusted for socioeconomic status, were found to be as much as 5 percentile points lower in buildings with lower quality ratings. Achievement also appeared to be more directly related to cosmetic factors than to structural ones. Poorer achievement was associated with specific building condition factors such as substandard science facilities, air conditioning, locker conditions, classroom furniture, more graffiti, and noisy external environments. (A Study of the Relationship Between School Building Condition and Student Achievement and Behavior, Carol Cash, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1993)
Large Urban Virginia High Schools
Similarly, a study of large, urban high schools in Virginia also found a relationship between building condition and student achievement. Indeed, the researcher found that student achievement was as much as 11 percentile points lower in substandard buildings as compared to above-standard buildings. (Building Condition and Student Achievement and Behavior, Eric Hines, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1996)
North Dakota High Schools study
A study of North Dakota high schools, a state selected in part because of its relatively homogeneous, rural population, also found a positive relationship between school condition (as measured by principals’ survey responses) and both student achievement and student behavior. (Review of Research on the Relationship Between School Buildings, Student Achievement and Student Behavior, Glen Earthman, Council of Educational Facility Planners, International, 1995)
Georgia Elementary Schools
A recent study of 24 elementary schools in Georgia attributed quality of school design to a 14.2 percent difference in third grade achievement scores and a 9.7 percent difference in fifth grade achievement scores on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. (Relationship of School Design to Academic Achievement of Elementary School Children, University of Georgia, 2000)
Heating and air conditioning links to learning
Heating and air conditioning systems appeared to be very important, along with special instructional facilities (such as science laboratories or equipment) and color and interior painting, in contributing to student achievement. Proper building maintenance was also found to be related to better attitudes and fewer disciplinary problems in one cited study. (“Facilities,” by Carroll McGuffey, in Improving Educational Standards and Productivity, edited by Herbert Walberg, 1982)
Air Quality impacts educational experience
Research indicates that the quality of air inside public school facilities may significantly affect students’ ability to concentrate. The evidence suggests that youth, especially those under age 10, are more vulnerable than adults to the types of contaminants (asbestos, radon, and formaldehyde) found in some school facilities (Environmentally Related Health Hazards in the Schools, James Andrews and Richard Neuroth, paper presented to Association of School Business Officials International, 1988).
University of Georgia study
A research summary prepared by the University of Georgia in 1999 indicates several studies show that adequate lighting and appropriate color choices play a significant role in the achievement of students, affecting their ability to interpret the written word and their attention span. (Summary by Elizabeth Jago and Ken Tanner, University of Georgia, April 1999, www.coe.uga.edu/sdpl/sdpl.html)
Washington DC and LA Unified Schools studies
In a study of the Washington, D.C. public schools, a committee of experts including engineers, architects, and maintenance staff rated buildings poor, fair, or excellent according to their overall physical condition. Raters evaluated roofs, ceilings and walls, heating and electrical systems, and bathroom facilities. The findings indicated that the physical state of a school was a predictor of student achievement.
Data suggested that as schools move from poor to fair, average achievement scores can be expected to increase by 5.46 points, while improvement from poor to excellent resulted in a 10.9 point increase (Berner, 1993). Likewise, a relationship was found between the degree to which schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District complied with health and safety regulations and student academic performance in these schools, as measured by California’s API indicator of student performance (Buckley, Schneider, & Shang, 2004).
||Green Park Elementary celebrates a Century of Class|
Green Park Elementary celebrates a ‘Century of Class’ with special Centennial Week activities – May 15-20. Mark your calendar and make plans to salute Green Park’s 100th Birthday.
Monday, May15 to Wednesday, May 17
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Thursday, May 18 and Friday, May 19
5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 20
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon
Carnival and Spaghetti Dinner
Thursday, May 18
4 to 8 p.m.
100th Birthday Party
Friday, May 19
5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Children’s program begins at 5:00
- Special memory lane Power Point presentation
- Birthday cake and ice cream
“This is a wonderful time to visit and renew old friendships,” Green Park Principal Mike Lambert said. “Green Park has played such an important role in the history of our community and we hope you’ll take time to stop in and help us celebrate a Century of Class.”
For more information, contact Centennial Coordinator Kathy Goodwin at (509) 526-7144 or Green Park Secretary Susan Stroe at (509) 527-3077. Green Park is located at 1105 E. Isaacs Avenue in Walla Walla.
May Staff Spotlight employee -- Edison 3rd Grade Teacher Charleen Kaaen
Years in District: 31
Birth Place: Aberdeen, WA
High School: South Salem High
College: PLU (3 years) -- Bachelor’s Degree / Master’s Degree from NNC
Favorite music artists: Norah Jones and Alan Jackson
Favorite Movie: Schindler’s List
Favorite Book: Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
What do you love most about your job?: The kids! They bring joy into my life. I also love that every day is different and brings new challenges.
Hobbies: Reading, traveling, music (piano & choir), and backpacking
Most memorable life experience: Other than the birth of my three children, my exchange teaching year in Adelaide, South Australia.
Tell us something about yourself that nobody else would know: I’ve always wanted to write children’s books.