Title I schools earn national recognition for outstanding achievement by students

January 9, 2009

COLUMBIA, SC – January 9, 2009 – Two Title I public schools in the Palmetto State are being recognized for superior student achievement, the South Carolina Department of Education announced today. 
Garrett Academy of Technology in Charleston County is the state’s 2008-09 Distinguished Title I School for Overall Achievement and Allen L. Code Elementary School in Oconee County is the state’s 2008-09 Distinguished Title I School for Closing the Achievement Gap, according to Nancy Busbee, director of the Office of Federal and State Accountability.

Each school receives a $10,000 grant to attend the National Title I Conference in San Antonio, TX, where they will be recognized for achievement, participate in panel discussions and attend a Distinguished Schools luncheon.  The grant also helps the schools make presentations on successful instructional methods at the state conference of Title I administrators.

The awards are part of the National Title I Distinguished Schools Recognition Program authorized by 2001’s No Child Left Behind Act.
“The schools we’re honoring hold their students to high standards and are serious about improving children’s learning,” Busbee said.
“Their creative approaches, programs and education techniques can serve as examples to help other Title I schools achieve success.”

Busbee said Title I Distinguished Schools not only show gains academically, but also work to improve students’ citizenship, character, enjoyment of the arts and community spirit.  They have strong training programs for teachers and staff, good partnerships with parents and community members, courses and teaching to support high achievement, and give all students a chance to perform at proficient and advanced levels.

Title I schools in the Overall Achievement category have greater percentages of students scoring either “Proficient” or “Advanced” in English/language and math testing over the past two years.  Schools honored for Reducing the Achievement Gap have greater  percentage reductions in scoring differences between African-American and white students during that time.  Schools considered for awards must have made Adequate Yearly Progress in the last two years and have at least 50% of their students eligible for free and reduced-priced lunch programs based on family income.