Sumter's Millwood wins Outstanding Elementary School award during regional conference

Literacy initiative targeted 4th-, 5th-grade students

BY BRUCE MILLS
bruce@theitem.com
Posted 7/18/19

Millwood Elementary School typically ranks as a top school in Sumter School District, and last week it was recognized with a regional award from a multi-state alliance.

Principal Cornelius Leach spoke Wednesday on the Southern Regional Education …

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Sumter's Millwood wins Outstanding Elementary School award during regional conference

Literacy initiative targeted 4th-, 5th-grade students

Posted

Millwood Elementary School typically ranks as a top school in Sumter School District, and last week it was recognized with a regional award from a multi-state alliance.

Principal Cornelius Leach spoke Wednesday on the Southern Regional Education Board naming the Pinewood Road school as winner of its Outstanding Elementary School Award at an annual conference last week in Baltimore, Maryland.

The school won the award after implementing a research-based literacy practices initiative from the association in social studies and English language arts.

"So, when students were actually looking at their social studies content, they were still using literacy practices, such as taking notes, reading, writing essays and other things," Leach said.

The initiative has also been implemented in the school's science classes and across various grade levels, according to Leach.

The principal initially took on the initiative last year to help the school's fourth- and fifth-graders increase achievement in English language arts because it was an identified need area.

Teachers embraced the initiative, which had a focus on increasing student engagement via various classroom activities, such as doing research on a computer and how to properly take notes.

"The teachers had the students actively engaged in activities that would help them be great literacy learners," Leach said. "We just had great teachers who embraced it, and we increased student engagement with activities, and I am looking forward to some great results when we get our SC READY and SCPASS results in."

At the conference, the 16-state association also presented similar awards for outstanding middle school, outstanding high school and outstanding district.

Leach said more than 5,000 administrators and teachers attended the conference.