Riley County Celebrates Soaring Scores

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Riley, KS (13 News) - Soaring test scores mean an extra day of Thanksgiving break in one Northeast Kansas school district.

The percentage of students in USD 378 Riley County earning the state standard of excellence on assessment tests went from 42-percent in 2004-2005 to 87-percent in '07/'08.

District leaders say they came together to develop a new approach. Teresa Grant, principal at Riely County Grade School, says everything the district does is geared to how it can benefit student achievement. She says that even encompasses what happens in the lunch room, on busses or at the playground.

High school principal Eric Swanson says the status quo is not good enough for Riley County and the staff meets weekly to discuss that. He says with achievement levels reaching such a high level, even small gains will continue to be celebrated.

The Riley County school board rewarded the district by approving the day before Thanksgiving as an extra day off. Staff will be paid for it.