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Burley Glenwood, four others recognized for academic achievement | Schools

Burley Glenwood Elementary School principal Darek Grant overlooks the work of kindergartners earlier this week. Grant
Burley Glenwood Elementary School principal Darek Grant overlooks the work of kindergartners earlier this week. Grant's school recently was recognized as one of only three elementary schools in the state to be acknowledged as a Title I, Part A Distinguished School.
— image credit: Chris Chancellor/Staff Photo

Burley Glenwood recently was recognized as one of only three elementary schools in the state to be acknowledged as a Title I, Part A Distinguished School.

That award, which began in 1996, recognizes Title I schools, where at least 40 percent of a school’s students must be eligible for free- and reduced-price lunch, for “achieving high educational standards,” according to a news release. Olympia’s Madison Elementary and Neah Bay Elementary in the Cape Flattery School District also were honored.

Burley Glenwood was selected for boosting its reading scores among student groups who traditionally have scored worse than others. The school will receive $5,000, plus funding to send two staff members to the National Title I Conference in Nashville, Tenn.

“I’m very proud of these schools,” state Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn said in a news release. “The achievements they have made are a shining example to the rest of the state that all kids can learn, even with challenging circumstances.”

Burley Glenwood emerged from being cited as “needs improvement” on the federal No Child Left Behind Act in 2009 based on its results on the Washington Assessment of Student Learning.

Around that time, Burley Glenwood principal Darek Grant said the school began “Collaboration Wednesdays,” when classes start 45 minutes later than normal, are helpful because they allow teachers to review student performance and make adjustments based on that information. He credits teachers throughout the building for being receptive to changes, including a “team” structure where he said educators take responsibility for helping any struggling students at the school — even ones in different classes.

Grant said students are assessed by teachers at least every other week and that data is used to determine where youths need to improve.

“If (struggling students) are not successful with interventions we put something else in place,” Grant said.

In addition to the work of teachers, Grant said he is grateful to the community for volunteering at the school and being flexible with the late start on Wednesdays.

“I think there’s definitely a correlation,” he said. “Every year our kids have made (standardized test) gains. Everyone has done their part.”

Burley Glenwood also was one of five South Kitsap schools designated as the Center for Educational Effectiveness 2012 Schools of Distinction, which recognizes improvement in reading and mathematics during a five-year period. Along with Burley Glenwood, East Port Orchard, Orchard Heights, Sidney Glen and Sunnyslope elementary schools were among the 97 schools that earned the award in the state.

Awards are given to the top 5 percent of elementary, middle and high schools based on results from the Measurements of Student Progress (third through eighth grade), the High School Proficiency Exam in reading and the End of Course Exam in mathematics (10th grade).

The five SKSD schools honored represented the second most in the state along with Clover Park. Only Seattle Public Schools (seven) had more.

EPO has earned the award five times, which is the most in the state.

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