PORTAGE | Portage Township Schools Superintendent E. Ric Frataccia told a group gathered at Woodland Park Thursday that the school district will never be perfect.
"But the truth is also that your school system is one of the top in the state," Frataccia said at the Greater Portage Chamber of Commerce luncheon.
Frataccia said in his nine years with the district, he has seen changes, improvements and the district "recapture a spirit of an earlier time" when it was known for its standard of education and educators.
The proof, he told them, that Portage is not only a good school district or even a great school district, but one of the highest quality school districts, lies in the facts.
"We are one of three schools in Northwest Indiana that has received an exemplary grade or grade of A for the last three years," Frataccia told the group. "Portage High School has the largest dual credit program in Northwest Indiana. More kids graduate from Portage High School with college credit than any high school in Northwest Indiana."
He continued to tell them the high school's fine arts program has been recognized by the state as being exemplary; that high school athletes brought home two state championships this past year and that its Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps program was ranked one of the top three in the Midwest.
"You have a very high quality school system," he said, adding that quality and recognition comes despite the district having about 60 percent of its students on the free and reduced lunch program.
Frataccia said that reach for perfection won't stop, can't stop. This year, he said all seventh and eighth grade students will have one semester of an engineering course and will take a career readiness exam that will predict their career success.
A Microsoft Academy has been added to the high school, which will allow students to graduate with Microsoft accreditation. Teachers are also working with area businesses to learn what skills they need to teach in the classrooms to make students more ready for their futures.