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High Marks in English Language Arts at Benjamin Franklin Elementary | Schools

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High Marks in English Language Arts at Benjamin Franklin Elementary
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Benjamin Franklin Elementary School’s third grade students earned “superior” marks on the New York State Education Department’s most recent English Language Arts (ELA) test scores, according to an analysis of test results by Buffalo Business First.  The third grade class at Franklin Elementary was one of 20 elementary and middle schools throughout Western New York that were designated as “superior.”

“This ‘superior’ designation of ELA test scores at Franklin Elementary is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our teachers.  Our school is a caring community where staff works diligently in giving our students the best education possible,” said Benjamin Franklin Elementary School Principal Patricia Kosis.

According to Business First their study “defined a superior performance in English as any instance where at least 30 percent of a school's students reached Level 4 on the New York State Education Department's (NYSED) four-tiered scale. The department says that anybody who attains Level 4 has exceeded the statewide standards for proficiency in English.”  According to NYSED data 73-percent of third-grade students at Franklin Elementary scored a Level 3 or Level 4 on the most recent ELA test, which would designate those students as “proficient” in the subject area.

“I am incredibly proud of the wonderful achievement of having ‘superior’ ELA test scores for third-grade students at Franklin Elementary.  The academic bar has been set very high under the leadership of Principal Patricia Kosis, and teachers deserve a lot of credit for implementing the vision set by our stakeholder groups,” said Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda Union Free School District Superintendent Mark P. Mondanaro.

All 13 schools in the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda Union Free School District are responsible for creating their own “Instructional Improvement Plan” that serves as a blueprint of how students learn and staff implements the District-wide curriculum.

At Benjamin Franklin Elementary School one flexible component of that IIP gives students greater ownership in their own ELA lessons. 

Part of that new teacher training allows students to become “self-determined learners.”  The innovative teaching concept is child centered concerning the choice within the curriculum of what is read in the classroom.

“A teacher will have a range of books within a student’s reading level.  Instead of a teacher choosing a book and stating ‘read this,’ we give students the option to read a book of their choice.  It makes lessons interesting for our students.  They feel empowered being able to choose from a group of books we offer in our very challenging curriculum,” added Kosis.

Third-grade teachers at Franklin Elementary School receive numerous opportunities for training and professional development, and work collaboratively in assessing student ELA skills.  Those teacher assessments then provide a roadmap for educators on how to develop curriculum and interventions for students who need extra help. 

“Our teachers deserve credit for their strong commitment to strengthening academic achievement throughout our District.   Congratulations to the entire Franklin Elementary School community for being one of only 20 classes across Western New York who were recognized for superior excellence in English Language Arts,” said Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda Union Free School District Board of Education President Bob Dana.

This is the second District school to be recognized by Buffalo Business First for academic excellence.

In June Business First honored Lindbergh Elementary School with a “subject award” for scoring in the top ten percent of all Western New York Schools in mathematics over a four-year period.  The publication ranked Lindbergh Elementary School 21st in mathematics out of 287 public and private elementary schools throughout eight counties in Western New York.  Lindbergh Elementary School was also ranked the 27th best elementary school in the region.

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