Etowah Staff Celebrates “School of Distinction” Status

Etowah Elementary staff with "2018 Title I Distinguished School" Nominee sign

For the sixth year in a row, Etowah Elementary School has received recognition as a top ranking Title I school and was eligible for consideration for representing North Carolina as the National Title I Distinguished School Award in not one, but both the “High Performance” and “Sustained Achievement” categories.

And, in the top 1 percent of the 1,500 Title I schools statewide, Etowah is considered a “Title I School of Distinction.”

On Wednesday, Dr. Jan King, HCPS Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction, congratulated Etowah Elementary staff for their commitment to student achievement, and to the Etowah community.

“This still truly is a community school; you look at the last names on a class list and see you’ve taught their cousin or their sibling, or some of you have taught their parents,” King said to teachers nodding in agreement.

“This is a hard thing to get nominated for once – and you keep getting nominated over, and over, and over again,” King said. “You would not be nominated as a Title I Distinguished School if you weren’t meeting the needs of this school community.”

It’s the sixth year in a row Etowah has consistently met the eligibility requirements for consideration for either the “High Performance,” or “Sustained Achievement” categories, but the first the school has met eligibility requirements for both.

Approximately 10 percent of Title I schools in North Carolina are eligible to be included in the Distinguished Schools process; schools in the top 10 percent of those eligible schools – the top 1 percent of Title I schools statewide – are asked to submit portfolios for consideration for the prestigious National Title I Distinguished School Awards.

The National Title I Distinguished Schools Program recognizes Title I schools that hold students to high standards and demonstrate exemplary school effectiveness in teaching and learning based on state curriculum; implementing research-based professional development; using research-based instructional strategies; providing opportunities to all students to achieve; establishing partnerships with parents, families, and the community; and modeling success for other schools.

A National Title I Distinguished School designation recognizes high student achievement in schools that have substantial poverty rates, high end-of-grade success rates, and significant growth in scores. King told Etowah staff that even being nominated for the designation is worth celebrating and to be nominated year after year – and in both categories this year – is a major accomplishment. Congratulations, Etowah!

– By Molly McGowan Gorsuch
Public Information Officer

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