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Crystal Greene, 503-947-5650

April 10, 2012

Oregon Schools Honored for Progress in Closing the Gap

Fifteen schools recognized for strong gains by low-income and minority students

(Salem, Ore) – This morning at a press event at Atkinson Elementary in Portland, State Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo announced the recipients of the 2012 Celebrating Student Success Awards. This awards program, now in its eighth year, recognizes high poverty and/or minority schools that have made significant progress in closing the academic achievement gap that so often separates traditionally underserved students from their peers. This year, seven schools from across the state were named 2012 Celebrating Student Success Champions and eight past award winners were recognized as 2012 Continuing Success schools.

“As we look at what it takes to transform our education system, these schools serve as inspiring examples of what is possible when teachers, administrators, parents, students, and communities come together behind a shared vision of excellence for all,” said Superintendent Castillo. “Where some might see challenges, these schools see opportunity. Through dedication, a commitment to high standards for students and staff alike, and a ‘no excuses’ attitude, these schools are doing what it takes to turn things around and increase student achievement for all kids regardless of race, income, disability status, or home language. These schools are showing us, that we can, and we will, close the gap.”

The following fifteen schools are the winners of the 2012 Celebrating Student Success Awards:

2012 Celebrating Student Success Champion Schools:
• Atkinson Elementary School, Portland Public Schools
• El Puente Bilingual Elementary School, North Clackamas School District
• Franklin High School, Portland Public Schools
• Lincoln Elementary School, Corvallis School District
• Lincoln Elementary School, Grants Pass School District
• Templeton Elementary School, Tigard-Tualatin School District
• Washington Elementary School, Pendleton School District

2012 Continuing Success Schools:
• Claggett Creek Middle School, Salem-Keizer School District
• Forest Grove High School, Forest Grove School District
• Gilbert Park Elementary School, David Douglas School District
• Lot Whitcomb Elementary School, North Clackamas School District
• Menlo Park Elementary School, David Douglas School District
• Riverside Elementary School, Grants Pass School District
• Weddle Elementary School, Salem-Keizer School District
• Woodburn Academy of Art, Science, and Technology, Woodburn School District

“This year’s winners represent a wide range of schools both, small and large, urban and rural. They share a common commitment to using data to drive their decision making, engaging parents and communities as active partners, and providing strong, shared leadership and a focus on high quality instruction,” said Castillo. “Many of these schools are also utilizing proven strategies such as Professional Learning Communities, Response to Intervention (RTI), Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS), and Courageous Conversations among others. Despite the differences from school to school, they share a focused and intentional approach to improving achievement and that focus is producing results.”

Schools were selected for this award based on a comprehensive review of student achievement data, evidence of significant gains by historically underserved student subgroups (minority groups, students with limited English, special education students, etc.), and review of a narrative application by a Blue Ribbon Panel composed of educators, education stakeholders, and community members. The applications for winning schools are available online at: http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/page/?id=3585. One page stories and a brochure on these schools will be added later this school year.

The Celebrating Student Success Awards program would not be possible without the support of the 2012 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 2012 Celebrating Student Success Awards; Nike School Innovation Fund; Wells Fargo; Wieden+Kennedy; Oregon School Boards Association; Confederation of Oregon School Administrators; The Oregonian; Oregon Education Association; Oregon School Employees Association; and Award Specialties.

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 All Hands Raised (formerly the Portland Schools Foundation), whose work inspired these awards.

Audio Clip - Quote from Superintendent Castillo on Celebrating Student Success Awards: http://video.orvsd.org/ode/12-04-04-Susan.mp3

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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