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Giltner celebrates academic excellence
This is the first year Nebraska school districts are ranked by their standardized testing scores. The scores were released last week.
While some schools are seeing where they need big improvement others, have a lot to be proud of.
Giltner Public Schools ranked higher than most area school districts.
When it comes to Math scores the district ranks 3rd in the state while Reading, Science and Writing were all in the top 20 as well.
This is out of 249 districts in Nebraska.
Athletics are a big deal in Giltner. They've got a jam-packed trophy case to prove it.
"Probably a lot of people don't think of us as an academic school. They think of us more of, lately a powerhouse in athletics," said Superintendent Larry Lambert.
Fresh off a state championship football title, Giltner Public Schools has even more to cheer about. The tiny district of only 177 students is proving to be a leader in academics off the field.
"We really take pride in getting to know all of our kids and making sure that each individual students needs are met," said teacher Aaron Veleba.
The district made a school improvement plan 5 years ago.
It focuses on teacher collaboration.
"Teachers talking to teachers about how to help each individual students improve," Lambert said.
Teachers like Aaron Veleba focus on hands on activities in the classroom. One way of doing that is using iPads.
"The kids are excited to use them everyday," said Veleba.
"It gives the teacher a chance to watch and observe as the students are learning," said Lambert.
But, the district attributes some of the academic success to what the kids do outside of the classroom.
"It's not just a school, it's a community," Veleba said.
Superintendent Larry Lambert estimates around 80% of students are involved in extra-curricular activities.
"I think a person involved is somebody that's going to learn to budget their time, learn to cooperate. All those things make an individual successful for later in life," said Lambert.
Factors like the number of students with free and reduced lunch and special education students can play a role in lower test scores.
Superintendent Lambert noted the district has very few of these students.
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