Brewton class recognized nationally

Published 6:53 pm Monday, December 3, 2007

By By Lisa Tindell – news editor
In a classroom encircled with bookshelves filled with books, the students in Courtney McBride's second-grade classroom at Brewton Elementary School are surrounded with the wonder of reading.
McBride, who has taught at the school since 2003, has received national recognition for her performance in the classroom by Renaissance Learning. The Wisconsin-based company has named McBride's class as a Reading Model Classroom. Renaissance Learning's tools for reading improvement skills have been adopted by Brewton City Schools as well as 72,000 other schools in North America.
McBride's recognition is an award that is a dream for the entire school, principal Deborah Marriott said.
Teaching staff received training last summer on the system in place at the school, Marriott said.
To receive the national recognition from Renaissance Learning, an educator must demonstrate their students are maintaining high-quality practice for a minimum of 12 weeks.
The first six or seven weeks of school, children in her classroom had to be reminded and encouraged to read on their own, McBride said.
Students are allowed to choose their own books based on their reading level, McBride said.
McBride is doing her part to help students become better readers, Renaissance Learning chairman of the board Judi Paul said.
The certification is granted to educators who are actively working with individual students to meet recommended standards and working with each student at a level that promotes the most growth, Paul said.
After completing a book, students take an assessment quiz by computer to determine comprehension in their reading, McBride said.
Students must score an 85 percent average on quizzes and maintain that average to be included in the evaluation for the recognition received, McBride said.
Renaissance Learning gives three levels of certification, McBride said.