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franklin county times

RES gets nod as CLAS Banner School for District 7

Russellville Elementary has been named the 2021 Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools Banner School for District 7 – one of eight schools in the state to receive a banner school designation.

The award was announced May 9 at the CLAS awards luncheon in Prattville. RES was initially recognized as one of 30 schools named 2021 CLAS Schools of Distinction. From those schools, one school was selected from each of the eight state board districts to be the 2021 CLAS Banner School.

“We were so thrilled to be chosen as a CLAS School of Distinction, but to be chosen as the CLAS Banner School from District 7 is an enormous honor,” said RES Principal Kristie Ezzell.

The CLAS Banner School program was created in 2001 to recognize schools in Alabama that showcase outstanding programs and services to students. School were nominated for this award by their superintendents, with 166 school programs nominated statewide.

RES earned the honor for its Bilingual Team-Taught Science Program, which was implemented during the 2020-2021 school year to meet the educational needs of students with limited and interrupted formal education.

Ezzell said the success of the program could be observed not only during daily classroom learning but also through observing data, including an increase in testing scores that same school year.

“I am so proud of our teachers and the job they do each day to reach every student no matter the barriers,” Ezzell said. “We have such a special school, and I am so glad Dr. Grimes and I were able to bring these two awards home to our faculty and staff.”

RCS Superintendent Dr. Heath Grimes expressed his gratitude for the administration at RES. He said with RCS’ higher-than-average percentage of the English language learners, “this naturally means our teachers must find ways to make sure these students are able to achieve success academically while working on the language and educational barriers these students face.”

Grimes said the award is well-deserved.

“We are extremely proud of the educators at RES involved in this program and all they and the rest of the faculty do to improve the educational opportunities for our students,” he said. “We are also very thankful for the administration at RES and their support of this program and the overall learning that takes place there.”