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updated: 10/4/2013 5:05 PM

Tefft Middle School in Streamwood gets national recognition for improvement

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Tefft Middle School in Streamwood has received national recognition for showing significant student achievement.

The recognition was given by the MetLife Foundation and the National Association of Secondary School Principals for work from 2008 to 2010.

Tefft was one of 10 schools in the nation to be named a Breakthrough School.

"The staff's steadfast commitment to improvement has had a noticeable impact on the school environment and the academic success of the students," Elgin Area School District U-46 Superintendent Josť M. Torres said in a written statement.

The Breakthrough Project, launched in 2007, showcases middle and high schools that are high-achieving or are dramatically improving student achievement and serve large numbers of students living in poverty.

Schools selected for the annual award share common strategies -- collaborative leadership, alignment of curriculum, instruction, assessment, and a highly personalized, caring environment.

Tefft was invited to apply for the redesignation and provided student progress reports in reading and math, the school's 2012 Illinois State Report Card, and written statements from the school's leaders about practices that have led to sustained student achievement.

"I am extremely proud of the students, teachers, and parents of Tefft Middle School," Principal Lavonne Smiley said.

Smiley said the school earned the distinction through "uncompromising and laser-sharp focus on instruction, a culture of high expectations, involving students in the analysis of data and goal setting, student led conferences, an effective structure of interventions, and a schoolwide commitment to continuous improvement."

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