Education: Kingswood Elementary Wins National Honor

Story by Lindsey Chester. Photo by Brooke Meyer.

Cary, NC- Congratulations to the students, teachers and parents of Kingswood Elementary School in Cary, recognized as a  National Title I Distinguished School by the National Title I Association. Kingswood is one of only two schools in North Carolina selected for this honor.

Title 1 Schools – Children of Poverty

What is a Title 1 school? Erica Green on Bright Hub explains:

The basic principles of Title 1 state that schools with large concentrations of low-income students will receive supplemental funds to assist in meeting student’s educational goals. Low-income students are determined by the number of students enrolled in the free and reduced lunch program. For an entire school to qualify for Title 1 funds, at least 40% of students must enroll in the free and reduced lunch program.

Read more about Title 1.

How Kingswood Prospered
Each title 1 school can use the funds in ways they see fit: Improving core curriculum, adding counseling, getting more parents involved, with the goal being to help low – income children close the achievement gap.

“Our school and community work collaboratively to advocate for student growth,” Principal Sherry Schliesser said. “Student success is at the heart of every decision made in our school.”

A Distinguished School

Since 1996, the National Title I Distinguished School Program has honored schools across the country for their innovation in helping Title I populations achieve high educational standards. Two schools are selected from each state by members of the National Title I Association. These schools represent examples of superior Title I programs in one of two categories:

  1. Exceptional student performance for two or more consecutive years or
  2. Closing the achievement gap between student groups.

In North Carolina, Kingswood was selected for closing the achievement gap with high growth in the school’s subgroups. Laurel Hill Elementary in Scotland County was honored for exceptional student performance for two or more consecutive years.

Selected schools must have a poverty rate of at least 35 percent for the selected year and must have demonstrated high academic achievement for two or more consecutive years and met or exceeded state standards for making adequate yearly progress (AYP) for two or more consecutive years.

Both schools will be honored at the National Title I Association’s conference in Tampa, FL, Jan 30 – Feb 3.

Everyone in Cary can take pride in Kingswood’s achievement. It’s part of the reason why Cary schools are ranked #3 in the nation for mid-sized cities according to GreatSchools.org.

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