Waverly Park Elementary School may be a small facility, but the students and staff there work hard and set high goals for themselves.
Those qualities were recognized recently by Schooldigger.com, a website ranking schools in the United States, which named Waverly Park Elementary the 15th best in all of New York State. The school improved from a #36 ranking last year. Only four other elementary schools in Nassau County were ranked in the top 20.
"We're really very excited," said Waverly Park Elementary principal Lucille McAssey. "Quite honestly, we're a small school … a school where everyone really works together. We have great parent support, the staff, custodians, teachers — everyone works together for the benefit of the children."
Schooldigger.com rates schools based on achievement, class size and teacher/student ratio. Waverly Park Elementary has 230 students, with a 13:1 student-teacher ratio. Students scored an average of 97.3 on the state math assessments and an 88 average on the state English Language Arts assessments.
McAssey said she attributes the success largely to Waverly being a smaller school, so students can work more closely with their teachers. "We can give students the individualized attention that they need and, as a result, no one falls through the cracks," she said. "This is a school where the principal knows every student."
Superintendent Dr. Santo Barbarino said he was proud of the honor bestowed on Waverly Park Elementary. Lynbrook schools have been very successful over the years, Barbarino said, but added it's always special when they are recognized for something new. He gave credit to the staff and students at the school for creating a high-quality learning atmosphere.
"Anytime you walk into any one of the buildings, you're going to get a very special feeling about the culture of that building," Barbarino said. "It's such a great relationship between students and staff that I think only enhances the quality of learning, and Waverly has that kind of environment. I think it's one of the main reasons why that school has been selected."
So how will Waverly Park Elementary be celebrating the No. 15 ranking?
"Celebrating for us is just getting the word out," McAssey said. "We don't need a groundbreaking celebration — the kids we serve are the ones to gain. The bottom line is that there are great advantages to being a part of this school."