NEW ROSS — Walnut Elementary has been named a National Distinguished Title I School, the Indiana Department of Education announced Monday.
The federal program gives funding for extra reading and math support to qualified students in schools with high poverty rates.
The National Title I Association recognized Walnut for closing the achievement gap between student groups, based on testing data.
“We are ecstatic to receive this award on behalf of the students, staff, parents and community of Walnut Elementary School,” principal Eric Brewer said. “It is great to tell our story that celebrates the growth and experiences of our children.”
“We believe our whole child approach with consistent, data driven strategies allows students to engage in unique opportunities that will last a lifetime,” Brewer said.
Walnut is one of two Indiana schools to receive the award for the 2017-18 school year. Ladoga Elementary was also a finalist.
The other award went to an elementary school in Spencer County for exceptional student performance for a Title I school.
Schools were selected based on student achievement data, state accountability grades, subgroup performance and poverty data of 35 percent or higher.
The poverty rate is determined by a school’s free-and-reduced lunch numbers.
Those making it to the second round participated in phone interviews and site visits from IDOE, which distributes Title I funds.
The award will be presented in January at the National Title I Conference in Kansas City, Missouri.
“We are extremely proud of Walnut Elementary students, families and staff for achieving at the level required to receive national recognition for student learning growth and closing the achievement gap,” Superintendent Dr. Shawn Greiner said in a statement. “We are equally pleased that Southmont’s Ladoga Elementary was also nominated.
“We believe Walnut exemplifies the beliefs, values and dedication of Southmont Schools as a whole,” Greiner added.
Schools in Indianapolis, Lafayette and the Gary-Hammond metropolitan region are among those that have received the award since 2006.