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Crystal Greene, (503) 947-5650

December 10, 2008

Castillo Names Oregon Schools Making Strong Gains in Closing the Achievement Gap

SALEM – State Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo today named nineteen Oregon public schools that have made significant progress in closing the achievement gap. The announcement was made today at a press conference at Lane Middle School in Portland.

Each school named for the award has demonstrated significant improvement in student achievement for minority and/or low income students. This is the fifth year that Castillo has recognized schools for the Celebrating Student Success Awards. This year there are seven Champion Schools, six Rising Star Schools, and six Continuing Success Schools. The Champion Schools will each receive a $3,000 award and the Continuing Success Schools will each receive a $1,000 award. School awards are sponsored by Oregon businesses. All nineteen schools will receive trophies and recognition at the Celebrating Student Success Banquet on May 1st at the Oregon Convention Center.

“These schools all demonstrate the incredible power of strong leadership, quality instruction, and high expectations for all students,” Castillo said. “These schools all face the challenges of poverty, changing demographics, and students who enter their schools from a range of cultural and language backgrounds – and yet, all of these schools are showing that progress can be made. We can and will close the achievement gap in Oregon. If we keep focused on that goal, we can ensure that all of our students can achieve success at school.”

Castillo initiated the Celebrating Student Success Award in 2005 to recognize leadership within Oregon’s K-12 public school system and highlight schools that have made significant progress toward closing the academic achievement gap. Special thanks go to the Portland Schools Foundation, whose work inspired these awards.

Selected schools made it through a data screen that identified schools where student subpopulations (minority groups, students with limited English, special education students, etc.) made significant progress compared to the comparison groups (white students, English speaking students, non-special education, etc.). Student cohorts were analyzed using data from 2004-05 through 2007-08. A team reviewed the data and examined both school to state comparisons and within school comparisons. Statewide report card and AYP data was also analyzed. Schools demonstrating the strongest subpopulation growth (and hence the most progress in closing the achievement gap) were invited to submit an application for further review. A Blue Ribbon Panel composed of educators, business leaders, and community members reviewed the data and the applications and made recommendations to Superintendent Castillo.

The following nineteen schools will be honored at an awards event on May 1st at the Oregon Convention Center.

The 2009 Celebrating Student Success Champion Schools are:
* Bridgeport Elementary, Tigard-Tualatin School District
* Davis Elementary, Reynolds School District
* Fern Ridge Middle School, Fern Ridge School District
* Fleming Middle School, Three Rivers School District
* Lane Middle School, Portland Public Schools
* R. E. Jewell Elementary, Bend-La Pine School District
* Swegle Elementary, Salem-Keizer School District

The 2009 Celebrating Student Success Rising Star Schools are:
* Barnes Elementary, Beaverton School District
* Independence Elementary, Central School District
* Lincoln Park Elementary, David Douglas School District
* Talent Elementary, Phoenix-Talent School District
* Vern Patrick Elementary, Redmond School District
* Whitman Elementary, Portland Public Schools

The 2009 Continuing Success Schools are:
* Boise-Eliot School, Portland Public Schools
* Forest Grove High School, Forest Grove School District
* Gilbert Park Elementary, David Douglas School District
* Grant Community School, Salem-Keizer School District
* Merrill Elementary, Klamath County School District
* Metzger Elementary, Tigard-Tualatin School District

Susan Castillo, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Gene Evans, Communications Director, Telephone (503) 947-5737

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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Oregon Department of Education
Voice: 503-947-5600
Fax: 503-378-5156
255 Capitol Street NE
Salem, OR 97310-0203

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