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Durand Schools Reveal the Secrets to Their Test Score Success

School District saw stunning growth in students meeting or exceeding standards, especially in science and math.
DURAND -- One thing that stood out in our analysis of state test scores was the big improvement int he Durand School District.  It finished second only to Hononegah in overall performance, and tops in high school science.  So how did they do it?

Well everyone likes the VIP treatment.  In the Durand School District, It's an incentive to test well  "If students are passing their psae, they can get into the VIP program."

"You can get out of homeroom and leave 20 minutes early which is pretty cool," says student Cassidy Derus.  "Get into games for free and get free popcorn."

Since starting the program  5 years ago, its helped turn scores around, but also readies students for life after high school.  "When they graduate, they're able to go on to college, or out in the workforce and we've prepared them for that," says school official Kurt Alberstett.

And now that the state tests for both math and science,  Durand is attacking learning science...Hands on!  "It's necessary totally to do the readings, to do the book work and notes, that is important but the hands on is essential," says science teacher Teri Cox.

Lisa Franke and Teri Cox head up the science department...Two consistent pieces of the district's continued success.  "We've been working together for 16 years, my whole time here. We're one of the few departments that has been here for that long," says Franke.

The bulldogs also participate in Illinois Science Olympiad.  Students compete in different events and activities with schools from all over the state...

"they're very excited for it. It requires their time outside of school, we have regular scheduled practices like a sports team would have, we have invitationals."

All contributing to raising the test scores...And standards
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