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Linwood students shining, thanks to innovative education



According to a new No Child Left Behind report, Linwood Elementary students exceeded NCLB's "annual yearly progress" benchmarks for the fifth year running, at the same time an increased number of state schools were placed on a needs-improvement list.

Linwood's achievement crossed the board, among all students and ELL, male, female, Hispanic and economically disadvantaged subgroups, according to Principal Susan Combs. It marks the latest of scholastic and creative accomplishments at the school, which graced the cover of the U.S. Department of Education's The Achiever publication in June.

"I am just thrilled," Combs said. "I'm so proud of the teachers and the students, and the parents."

Teachers and administrators attribute the success to Linwood being, since 2002, an A+ School, a designation for institutions that sign aboard the whole-school reform model initiated in North Carolina. A+ Schools emphasize arts integration and teaching to eight intelligences:
" people,
" word,
" math,
" self,
" nature,
" music,
" body and
" art "smarts."

It's not a curriculum, Combs said, but a framework for teaching.

"It allows us to go above and beyond (state mandates)," she said. "Kids are creative, and if we only teach pencil, paper, book "¦ we're not going to reach all of them." "Emily Jerman

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