4 Valley schools make 2012-13 Torchbearer's list - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

4 Valley schools make 2012-13 Torchbearer's list

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Four Tennessee Valley schools overcame the odds of difficulties ridden by poverty to make the list of this year's Torchbearer Schools of 2012-13.

Among the 20 schools named by the Alabama Department of Education, Frances Nungester Elementary and Woodmeade Elementary schools in Decatur made the list. Harlan Elementary and Weeden Elementary schools in Florence were also named Torchbearers.

"Since 2004, the Torchbearer School Program has recognized public schools in Alabama that show growth and success in the face of significant challenges," State Superintendent of Education Dr. Tommy Bice said.

The scores were based on the test results of the 2011-12 school year.

In order to qualify as a Torchbearer, a school must have at least an 80% poverty rate – as calculated by the amount of free or reduced-price lunches given to students – have at least 80% of students in elementary or middle schools score a Level III or IV on the standardized reading and math tests (or 95% of students in high school pass all five sections of the Graduation Exam), and have a graduation rate above state average.  

"Torchbearer Schools do not allow those challenges to turn into excuses. Torchbearer schools exhibit exemplary leadership, helping all students towards success," Dr. Bice added.

The schools will be honored with the prestigious award at a ceremony on February 19 at the Capitol City Club in Montgomery.

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