By CALVIN PYNN
Pulaski Elementary is one of 57 Title I schools being honored by the Virginia Board of Education for raising academic achievement of economically disadvantaged students.
According to a news release from the Virginia Department of Education, the awards are based on student performance on Standards of Learning (SOL) assessments during the 2012-2013 and 2011-2012 school years. Pulaski Elementary was included as the school exceeded all federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act objectives (ESEA).
These schools were recognized for achieving a mean score at the 60th percentile for both English and mathematics. They were also recognized for meeting full accreditation standards for a minimum of two consecutive years.
The schools honored also met or exceeded the annual measurable objectives for all students, and for each subgroup for the current year and for the previous years.
Board of Education President David M. Foster said the state’s new SOL tests set a higher bar, and that students are better prepared for having met it.
“I commend the teachers, principals and other educators in all of these schools for helping students meet the commonwealth’s expectations for grade-level learning in reading and mathematics,” Foster said.
According to Pulaski School Board Superintendent Thomas Brewster, the Leadership, faculty and staff, students, parents and volunteers from community worked hard to make this honor possible.
“We continue to strive to provide our students with a positive classroom experience,” said Brewster. “We have a great team across the division who are committed to student success.”
Each school will receive a certificate celebrating its status and achievement. Other nearby schools that were honored included Cathaway Elementary and Snow Creek Elementary in Franklin County; and Eastern Salem Elementary and G.W. Carver Elementary in Salem.
Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction, praised the teachers in their effort to help the schools achieve this honor.
“Teachers in the Title I schools challenge their students every day to meet the same expectations we have for students in more affluent communities,” Wright said. “They believe in their students and reject the idea that family incomes predetermine educational outcomes.”
Title I of ESEA provides funding to school divisions and schools for programs to raise the achievement of students identified as being at risk of academic failure. The federal education law requires schools to meet annual objectives for increasing student achievement on statewide assessments in reading/language arts and mathematics.