Provided by Manassas City Public Schools
Weems Elementary School staff was honored on Oct. 26, 2017 at the Virginia Governor’s Mansion for receiving the Governor’s Award for Excellence and Innovation in Education. The City of Manassas elementary school was one of 13 recipients of the prestigious award, which received 120 nominations. The school and staff, under the guidance of Principal Dave Rupert, was recognized in the Closing the Achievement Gap category alongside one other elementary school statewide.
“Over the last four years, my administration has worked hard to reduce the achievement gap, improve accountability, and expand opportunities for career exposure and experimental learning in our public schools. These individuals, schools, divisions, and partners are at the forefront of that effort and I applaud their willingness to think outside the box and boldly try new things,” Governor Terry McAuliffe said in a press release.
The award acknowledges the school for improved student achievement through the school’s unique Talents and Gifts (TAG) program. According to nominator Jackie Krick, owner of ECU Communications, the Title I school continues to demonstrate an ability to focus on the talents and gifts of each and every student. The program is based on the ideals for the School-wide Enrichment Model (SEM) to further engage students by introducing core content with the help of the community and business partners. This allows students to work like practicing professionals through exploring a topic of mutual interest.
At Weems, over 70 percent of students are categorized as Economically Disadvantaged (ED) and nearly 60 percent are identified as English Learners (EL). During the 2016-2017 school year, third- and fourth- grade students at Weems surpassed state averages in the ED and EL categories for math and reading by at least 14 percent. Additionally, Weems students exceeded the state averages by at least 5 percent in all subject areas.
“The Weems staff tirelessly targets every student in coordination with parental support,” Principal Dave Rupert said. “Their work is commendable. I am honored to work alongside such professional staff and dedicated community.”