2006 Award Winners
Intel and Scholastic Schools of Distinction Awards
Leadership Excellence
Ruskin Elementary School

Ruskin Elementary School
Waycross, Georgia

School Statistics
Total Enrollment: 473 students
Type of School: Rural public school
Location/Size of School: N/A
Receive Free/Reduced Lunch: 82%
Student-Teacher Ratio: 18:1

Ruskin is in a rural community where many students live below the poverty line. Despite a committed staff, the school was low performing for many years, with a majority of students reading below grade level. Four years ago, Ruskin’s faculty decided to discard any practices that did not enhance or advance student learning. Emphasis was placed on professional learning, collaborative planning, peer coaching, and accountability—all ensuring that every child in the school meets academic standards. Additionally, staff members are encouraged to try new strategies. Recently, a kindergarten teacher began a parent involvement project, and the physical education teachers redesigned their program to reinforce grade-level academic goals. Students have made great gains, from below the 50th percentile to at or above the 80th in all areas.