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February 11, 2013

De La Salle earns Red Quill award

By Maria Allard
C & G Staff Writer

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De La Salle earns Red Quill award
Chao Yu and Yue Yu scored among the top 100 in the Michigan Mathematics Prize Competition this year. The twin brothers, seniors at De La Salle Collegiate High School, are from China.

WARREN — The hard work of the staff and students of De La Salle Collegiate High School paid off.

The Catholic boy’s high school was recently named as a 2012-2013 Red Quill Award winner, which is the top recognition awarded by the ACT Midwest Region. The ACT is a nonprofit organization responsible for the college admissions and placement ACT test. It also provides more than a hundred other assessment, research, information and program management services for education and workforce development.

The Red Quill award recognizes schools that have executed innovative methods to improve curriculum and also demonstrated ongoing improvements in student ACT scores during the past five years. This is the first time DLS has received the Red Quill. DLS was one of 21 schools nationwide to be honored.

“It was a sense of validation of what we’ve been doing as a faculty for the last five years,” DLS Principal Patrick Adams said. “They’re recognizing our efforts.”

According to DLS officials, Red Quill recipients must have displayed a high level of dedication to data analysis, and to developing and increasing curriculum and instruction based on students’ learning needs. 

“This award exemplifies the academic excellence of De La Salle,” Br. Thomas Lackey, FSC, president of DLS said in a prepared statement.

In ninth grade, students take the Explore Test. The PLAN test is administered in 10th grade. And students take the ACT test in 11th grade.

Each year, staff reviewed the test results to decide in what areas students need improvement, where their strengths are, and how their learning styles differ from each other. Educators also discussed in what areas students needed extra time and support.

“The schools honored all showed they had taken data and determined where we needed to change classroom instruction, and our student scores increased,” Adams said.

In an attempt to further increase student achievement and standardized test scores, De La Salle officials established Professional Learning Communities. That gave teachers an opportunity to meet, review data and share ideas.

“We have provided time during the school day for teachers to meet in teams,” said Adams, adding the school’s counseling department facilitated the work of sharing student data with the teachers and also supplied information to apply for the Red Quill Award.

More good news
This year, twin brothers Chao Yu and Yue Yu scored in the top 100 in the state’s Michigan Mathematics Prize Competition. This is the second year for Yue. He finished 78th in the 2011-2012 MMPC. This is the first time for Chao.

The seniors have been invited to a banquet at Hope College in Holland, Mich., slated for March 2, where they will find out if they earned scholarship money.

The Michigan Section of the Mathematical Association of America offers the MMPC. It’s designed to encourage students to develop their math interests and skills. 

In addition to the Red Quill Award and the MMPC students, DLS recently announced the beginning of the application process to become certified as an International Baccalaureate World School.

The two-year curriculum — open to juniors and seniors  — will most likely be ready for the class of 2017. Students who successfully complete the program will earn an IB diploma based on their test scores.

The IB program will expand the College Preparatory, Honors and Advanced Placement curriculum already in place at DLS. The IB diploma is recognized globally, according to DLS officials.

The IB is a nonprofit educational foundation for students ages 3 to 19 that helps develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world. IB, founded in 1968, works with 3,521 schools in 144 countries.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Maria Allard at allard@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1045.