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Crystal Greene, 503-947-5650

March 9, 2011

2011 Celebrating Student Success Schools Recognized for Progress in Closing the Gap

SALEM – State Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo recognized thirteen Oregon public schools today for their significant progress in closing the achievement gap that separates low income and minority students from their peers. These schools were named as 2011 Celebrating Student Success winners at a press conference at Jason Lee K-8 School in Portland this morning.

“These schools are showing us all what is possible when everyone in a school community works together and truly believes that all children can achieve at high levels,” said Superintendent Susan Castillo. “Despite facing high poverty, high mobility, high numbers of students learning English, and highly diverse student populations, these schools are making significant gains in closing the achievement gap. Through a focus on strong leadership, engaging their families and communities, high quality instruction, and high expectations for everyone in the school, these inspiring schools are providing a model for others to follow.”

The following thirteen schools are the winners for the 2011 Celebrating Student Success Awards:

2011 Celebrating Student Success Champion Schools:
• Jason Lee K-8 School, Portland Public Schools
• Lot Whitcomb Elementary School, North Clackamas School District
• M.A. Lynch Elementary School, Redmond School District
• Riverside Elementary School, Grants Pass School District
• Tualatin Elementary School, Tigard-Tualatin School District
• Weddle Elementary School, Salem-Keizer School District
• Woodburn Academy of Art, Science, and Technology, Woodburn School District

2011 Continuing Success Schools:
• Bridgeport Elementary School, Tigard-Tualatin School District
• Claggett Creek Middle School, Salem-Keizer School District
• Forest Grove High School, Forest Grove School District
• Menlo Park Elementary School, David Douglas School District
• Merrill Elementary School, Klamath County School District
• Valor Middle School, Woodburn School District

Each school named for the award has demonstrated significant improvement in student achievement for minority and/or low income students. This is the seventh year that Castillo has recognized schools for the Celebrating Student Success Awards. This year there are seven Champion Schools and six Continuing Success Schools. Champion Schools are first time winners recognized for significant progress in closing the achievement gap. Continuing Success Schools are past Celebrating Student Success Champions that have continued to show gains and have further reduced their achievement gaps. 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 and community partners. All thirteen schools will receive trophies and recognition in the Oregonian on Sunday, March 13.

Castillo initiated the Celebrating Student Success Awards 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 goes 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 2007-08 through 2009-10. A team reviewed this growth data and examined how students in each school compared to the state average and whether the school was succeeding in shrinking the achievement gap. School 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, Youth Advisory Team student members, and community members reviewed the data and the applications and made recommendations to Superintendent Castillo.

To learn more about these and other schools closing the achievement gap (including the applications for this year’s winners), go to: http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/page/?id=3303

The Celebrating Student Success Awards program would not be possible without the support of the 2011 Celebrating Student Success sponsors. Please join us in thanking those who make this work possible including:

*American Institutes for Research (AIR), title sponsor for the 2011 Celebrating Student Success Awards. Founded in 1946 as a not-for-profit organization, the American Institutes for Research (AIR) is one of the world’s largest educational research and assessment development firms.

*Chambers Productions
*Confederation of School Administrators (COSA)
*Fred Meyer
*Nike School Innovation Fund
*Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA)
*Oregon Education Association (OEA)
*Oregon School Boards Association (OSBA)
*The Oregonian
*Wells Fargo
*Wieden + Kennedy

Audio Clip - Quote from Superintendent Castillo on Closing the Achievement Gap: http://video.orvsd.org/ode/3-8-11-CTAG.MP3.

Susan Castillo, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Susanne Smith, Communications Director, Telephone (503) 947-5637

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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Voice: 503-947-5600
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255 Capitol Street NE
Salem, OR 97310-0203

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