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NEWS RELEASES 2006-07 :: FEBRUARY 27, 2007


Eastover-Central Elementary (Cumberland County Schools) and A.B. Combs Elementary (Wake County Schools) were recently recognized as Title I Distinguished Schools for 2007. Eastover-Central Elementary was nominated for Category 1 – Exceptional Student Performance for two or more consecutive years, and A.B. Combs Elementary was nominated for Category 2 – Closing the Achievement Gap between groups of students.

"Eastover-Central Elementary and A.B. Combs Elementary are to be congratulated for not only improving student performance but also for citizenship and character of their students,"said NCDPI Student Support Services Director Lynn Warren. "As North Carolina Title I Distinguished Schools, they represent the best in the efforts of educators to promote student success."

A number of factors contributed to the continued academic success of students at Eastover-Central Elementary School, including student-by student, objective-by-objective plans made to individualize students' educational experiences. School administrators also encourage a vibrant work environment that supports teachers, who have, on average, 24 years of classroom experience. Furthering the school's success is an active and energetic PTA that works with the principal and teachers to help ensure the academic and financial success of the school.

"It is truly an honor to be named a Title I Distinguished School for North Carolina," Eastover-Central Elementary School Principal Ronald Parker said. "Receiving this award is a testament to the hard work of our entire school system, our school community, our teachers, parents and students. We have found that not all students learn the same way. It's important that we meet the needs of students on an individual basis."

A.B. Combs Elementary School is the embodiment of cultural and developmental diversity with one of the largest special education and non-English speaking populations. Rather than viewing diversity as a challenge, the school has embraced it as an opportunity and, as a result, is narrowing the achievement gap for all groups of students in its school. Staff attribute Combs students' academic success to its commitment that all children can and will learn.

"I give all the credit for our success to teachers and parents who work tirelessly to make a difference in the lives of our students," A.B. Combs Elementary School Principal Muriel Summers said. "We truly value the relationships we have with one another and understand their power when it comes to making a difference in the life of a child."

Other schools receiving recognition at the state level for 2007 were: Gardners Elementary (Wilson County Schools), High Student Performance; Riverside Elementary (Avery County Schools), High Student Performance; Sunny View Elementary (Polk County Schools), High Student Performance; Lyle Creek Elementary (Catawba County Schools), Closing the Achievement Gap; Boone Trail Elementary (Harnett County Schools), Closing the Achievement Gap; and Rocky River Elementary (Cabarrus County Schools), Closing the Achievement Gap.

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 with one candidate being selected from each region for each category. For Category 1 (High Student Performance), selection criteria included composite scores for three consecutive years, Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status, and a poverty percentage of 40 or greater. For Category 2 (Closing the Achievement Gap), selection criteria was based on schools with the most student subgroups where all subgroups made AYP and showed the most progress in significantly closing the achievement gap.

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.