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Crystal Greene, 503-947-5650

October 31, 2011

Oregon Elementary Schools Receive National Recognition

Concord and Guy Lee Recognized as Title I Distinguished Schools

(Salem, Ore.) – Today State Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo announced that two Oregon schools have been named 2011 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 2011 Title I Distinguished Schools are Concord Elementary and Guy Lee Elementary.

“Title I schools, schools with high numbers of students in poverty, are faced with a wide range of challenges as they work to get all of their kids to succeed academically,” said State Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo. “But schools like Concord and Guy Lee show us all that poverty does not need to be, and should not be, a predictor of student success. These schools have dedicated teachers and school staff who believe in the power of education to transform lives and break the cycle of poverty. They know that given the right supports—and someone who believes in them—all students can achieve at high levels. Join me in congratulating these two schools for all they have accomplished.”

Concord Elementary in the North Clackamas School District has been recognized as a Title I Distinguished School in the area of Exceptional Student Performance. Despite having more than half of the student body eligible for free and reduced priced lunch, Concord Elementary has consistently out-performed the state and maintained high levels of student achievement in both reading and math. The school attributes its success to a strong literacy program with clearly identified targets, teacher data teams which regularly review student progress, early intervention with struggling students, strong integration of the arts into instruction, and implementation of the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports system.

“Concord Elementary has consistently demonstrated a strong commitment to the achievement of all students,” said Vicki Chambers, Executive Director of Elementary Programs for North Clackamas School District. “When I visit Concord, I see students engaged in meaningful learning -- everything from technology to reading to hands-on science to performances."

Guy Lee Elementary in the Springfield School District has been recognized as a Title I Distinguished School in the area of Closing the Achievement Gap. Despite having nine in ten students eligible for free and reduced priced lunch and one in five an English Language Learner, Guy Lee has met AYP targets every year, made strong gains in student achievement, and has made progress in closing the achievement gap. The school has put systems in place to make sure no student falls through the cracks. Student data is reviewed regularly to ensure students are on track, and instruction is adjusted to better meet student needs.

“The Guy Lee principal, staff, and our other support personnel are to be commended for how they work together as a team,” says Sara Ticer, Springfield Director of Elementary Education. “They have high expectations around student achievement, use data to make instructional decisions, and intervene for those students needing extra help.”

Concord Elementary and Guy Lee Elementary will be honored at the National Title I Conference in Seattle, Washington in January 2012 and will receive a $5,000 award in recognition of their achievements in Exceptional Student Performance and Closing the Achievement Gap.

Susan Castillo, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Christine Miles, 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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Salem, OR 97310-0203

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