By Brenda L. Holmes
The staff and students at St. Susanna School were thrilled to find out they reached Indiana Four Star designation by the Indiana Department of Education. Hendricks County schools have been earning this status for some time and now St. Susanna has the same bragging rights.
“This is the first year St. Susanna earned Four Star,” said Karen Hosek, the school’s acting principal and pre-school teacher. “This is a major accomplishment for us. Non-public schools are held to a higher standard. We have to earn 11 to 17 points higher per grade level.”
Hosek was named the acting principal when Kristy Keith took maternity leave earlier this year. Keith and Hosek are very proud of the staff and students.
“Thank you all for your commitment, dedication, and love for our students,” Keith wrote to the teachers in an e-mail. “It is because of you and your hard work that we were able to achieve this distinction.”
The IDOE established the 25th percentile cut score for combined passing percentages of English/language arts and mathematics, as well as the percent of students passing both for all grades tested. In addition to meeting these criteria, all Indiana Four Star schools must meet the 95 percent student participation rate.
“St. Susanna has earned other academic honors but this is the first time for Four Star,” Hosek said. “We are so very happy. We have purchased some popsicles and we will be holding an outdoor celebration for all the kids. Without their hard work, this could not have happened.”
St. Susanna School has an enrollment of about 330 students in pre-school through eighth grade. The majority of the students are from Plainfield and Avon but children represent many school districts. Many of them go on to attend Ritter High School or their local public school district.
“And since it’s a small school, it can be difficult to make those percentages,” Hosek said. “Say you have a class of 10 kids and one of the students does not pass, you’re already at 90 percent.”
The six public school districts in Hendricks County have a history of earning Four Star status. Making the cut this year were Avon Community School Corporation – River Birch Elementary School, Avon Intermediate School East, Avon Intermediate School West, Avon Middle School North, Maple Elementary School, and Avon Middle School South; Brownsburg Community Middle School – Brown Elementary School, Brownsburg High School, Eagle Elementary School, Brownsburg West Middle School, Brownsburg East Middle School, and White Lick Elementary School; Danville Community School Corporation – Danville Community High School; Mill Creek Community School Corporation – Cascade Middle School; North West Hendricks Community School Corporation – Tri-West Middle School, North Salem Elementary School, and Pittsboro Elementary School; and Plainfield Community School Corporation – Clarks Creek Elementary School, Plainfield High School, Plainfield Community Middle School, Van Buren Elementary School, and Brentwood Elementary School.