Five Schools Win National Title I Award

Five schools here will receive the 2008-09 National Title I Academic Achievement Award for making significant gains in student achievement.

The winners – Edison, International, Lafayette, Signal Hill and Alvarado elementary schools – were announced recently by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell.

"These schools deserve high praise for improving student achievement," O’Connell said.  “They have addressed barriers to student success and were able to create a school environment conducive to learning.  I congratulate the teachers, staff, paraprofessionals, parents, and students who all worked hard this past year to improve.  I hold these schools up as models for their success in ensuring that all students without regard to race, economic status, or physical or mental challenges are given the kind of education that allows them to achieve to their fullest potential."

The five schools here were among 200 California schools selected for the honor.

The award may be given only to schools receiving federal Title I funds as authorized by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.  To be eligible for the Title I Schoolwide Program, a school must enroll 40 percent or more of socioeconomically disadvantaged students.

To meet the criteria for this distinction, the schools must demonstrate that all students are making significant progress toward proficiency on California's academic content standards.  The school's socioeconomically disadvantaged students also must have doubled their achievement targets for two consecutive years.

Title I is a part of the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and is the single largest federal program for K-12 public education.  Of the more than 9,000 schools in California, about 6,000 of them participate in the Title I program.

O'Connell personally called the principal at each school to inform them of their selection.

“They were extremely excited at hearing the news and equally proud of being recognized for their hard work and success," said O'Connell. “It was inspiring to talk to them and share in this extraordinary moment."

The 200 awardees will be honored at a special ceremony held in conjunction with the annual California Title I Conference scheduled for April 27-28 at the Anaheim Marriott Hotel.