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NEWS RELEASES 2005-06 :: FEBRUARY 14, 2006


Clearmont Elementary (Yancey County Schools) and Saint Stephens Elementary (Catawba County Schools) were recently recognized as Title I Distinguished Schools for 2006. Clearmont Elementary was nominated for Category 1 – Exceptional Student Performance, and Saint Stephens Elementary was nominated for Category 2 – Closing the Achievement Gap.

"Clearmont Elementary and Saint Stephens Elementary are to be congratulated for their excellence and commitment to improving the academic achievement of all the students in their schools," said NCDPI Compensatory Education Section Chief Dr. Lynn Warren. "As North Carolina Title I Distinguished Schools, they represent the best in the efforts of educators to promote student success."

Clearmont Elementary is a technology-rich learning environment where teachers, parents and students work together to create a "Brighter Future for Our Children." Technology is integrated throughout the curriculum and instruction and the school works hard to train teachers, students, parents and staff so that they will have access to the state-of-the-art technology they need.

"We were extremely honored to represent North Carolina as a 2006 Title I School of Distinction for Exceptional Student Performance," said Clearmont Elementary Principal Pete Peterson. "This award is a clear indication of the strength of the efforts made by the faculty and staff at Clearmont Elementary to maximize the educational experience of our students through the effective and efficient integration of technology."

Saint Stephens Elementary's outstanding progress is due to a team effort approach with the community, students and staff. The team is proud of having met all 29 of its target goals considered in Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). Many students at the school have limited English proficiency and all certified staff members have received training in language acquisition. Inclusion for students with disabilities has been another school-wide focus. Teachers for students with disabilities, limited English proficient teachers, reading teachers, and speech pathologists team teach with regular education classroom teachers, virtually eliminating the practice of pulling students from their classrooms in order to receive the help they need. In addition, the school's Exemplary Character Education program has won three national best practices awards.

"This has been one of the most uplifting experiences for our staff, community and students," said Saint Stephens Elementary Principal Marsha Woodard. "The team that received this honor in Dallas has been inspired to do even more for our students and for our community. The children have truly distinguished themselves as national winners and we were so proud to represent them at the national conference."

Other schools receiving recognition at the state level for 2006 were: Traphill Elementary, Wilkes County Schools; Beaver Dam Elementary, Cumberland County Schools; Oakley Elementary, Buncombe County Schools; Union Elementary, Sampson County Schools; Creech Road Elementary, Wake County Schools; and Gaston College Preparatory, Northampton County Schools.

The Title I Distinguished Schools Recognition Program showcases top schools that are organizing successful academic programs for the state's neediest students. Nominees were pre-selected at the state level. One candidate was selected from each region for each category. For Category 1, selection criteria included composite scores for three consecutive years, AYP status, and a poverty percentage of 40 or greater. For Category 2, schools with the most student subgroups where all subgroups made AYP and showed the most progress in significantly closing the achievement gap were selected.

For more information, please contact the NCDPI's Communications division at 919.807.3450.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 126 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.