Jackson Park Elementary receives Title I Funding Award

Based upon Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) scores, Jackson Park Elementary was one of 48 schools statewide to receive a Title I Improvement Award.

The school will receive $3,500 for its efforts.

"We are a very collaborative staff and all of us, from the office staff to the playground supervisors to the para-educators to the teachers, recognize the immense power we have to positively affect students," said third-year principal Tess Danubio. "We embrace every family that walks through our doors and we pride ourselves in meeting whatever foundational needs they have... This is critical before any learning can take place."

Schools selected for the award made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) three years in a row, were Title I funded for three consecutive years and showed overall improvement by closing the achievement gap, according to a statement released by the district.

Danubio said it takes "data and research-based interventions" to help students reach state-mandated expectations and achieve at higher levels.

"As a staff, we are focused on state standards and (No Child Left Behind) and AYP," she said. "However, we do not let the mandates paralyze us. We keep them in mind, and then we turn our focus to getting to know each student as best we can and provide them with whatever they need."

The $3,500 award, Danubio said, will go toward sustaining the 19 "Extended Days," twice-weekly one-hour study sessions either before or after school, that were available last year to students grades 3-6.

"The money will most likely be used to sustain this type of program," she said.

Preliminary WASL results released Aug. 26 by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) show Jackson Park at or above state passage rates in most categories at most grade levels, falling shortest in third grade reading and third grade math, where students passed at 58.9 percent and 54.8 percent rates, respectively. The states averages for those same categories were 70.4 percent and 68.3 percent, respectively.

Jackson Park's strongest WASL numbers were at sixth grade, posting passage rates of 82.5 percent in reading and 66.7 percent in math, far higher than the state's 68.6 percent and 48.9 percent passage rates.

"We use and analyze a variety of data sources to assess our students, focus our teaching, and provide individualized interventions for each student," Danubio said of standardized tests. "All students are capable of reaching high standards if given the opportunity."

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