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Crystal Greene, 503-947-5650

January 15, 2014

Tualatin Elementary and Self Enhancement Inc. Academy Receive National Recognition

Two Oregon schools named Title I Distinguished Schools

(Salem, Ore.) –
Today Deputy Superintendent Rob Saxton announced that two Oregon schools have been named 2014 Title I Distinguished Schools under the federal Title I Distinguished Schools Program. For over a decade, this program has honored schools across the country for their innovation in helping low-income students achieve at high levels. Schools are recognized in the areas of Exceptional Student Performance and Closing the Achievement Gap. Oregon’s 2014 Title I Distinguished Schools are Tualatin Elementary and Self Enhancement Inc. Academy. Both schools were also designated as Model Schools this past summer under Oregon’s new accountability system.

“Far too often, poverty or race are seen as predictors of student success,” said Deputy Superintendent Rob Saxton. “This award helps to highlight schools around our nation who are beating the odds and helping all students achieve at high levels. Tualatin Elementary and SEI Academy ranked among the top performing, high-poverty schools in our state last year and I want to congratulate them on this recognition and all that they have accomplished. This is the type of focus on and commitment to student achievement that we need to see in all of our schools.”

Tualatin Elementary School in the Tigard-Tualatin School District has been recognized as a Title I Distinguished School in the area of Exceptional Student Performance. Tualatin is a K-5 school with close to half of their students in poverty and over a quarter designated as English Learners. The school received a top rating on last fall’s school report cards with students outpacing the state average by significant margins. Over 80% of Tualatin Elementary students met state standards in reading compared to 71% for the state and 69% for schools with similar demographics. In math, 74% of students met standard as compared to 62% for the state and 58% for “like-schools.” And in science, the percent of students meeting standards was 85%, 17% higher than the state average. Tualatin Elementary has been designated as a model school for the past two years.

Self Enhancement Inc. (SEI) Academy, a charter school in Portland Public Schools serving students grades 6-8, has been recognized as a Title I Distinguished School in the area of Closing the Achievement Gap. The SEI Academy serves an incredibly diverse student population with 84% of students identifying as black, 9% identifying as multi-racial, and 6% identifying as Hispanic. Six out of seven students in the school live in poverty and yet last year, students performed at the state average in both reading and math and well above schools with similar demographics. And over the past several years the school has made significant gains in achievement going from 48% of students meeting standard in reading and 29% meeting standard in math in 2010-11 to 69% meeting in reading and 62% meeting in math in 2012-13.

Tualatin Elementary and Self Enhancement Inc. Academy will be honored at the National Title I Conference in San Diego, California in February 2014 and will receive a $5,000 award in recognition of their achievements in Exceptional Student Performance and Closing the Achievement Gap.

Rob Saxton, Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction
Crystal Greene, Communications Director, Telephone (503) 947-5650

Oregon Department of Education News Releases contain information that was originally released to the press as an official release.  Refer to each News Release for the details.
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