Neah Bay to use Title I award to train teachers

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

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NEAH BAY — Neah Bay Elementary School will use a $5,000 state “Title I Distinguished School” award to train teachers in the use of technology the school has been able to purchase through other grants and awards won in the past few years, said Principal Alice Murner.

Previous awards have resulted in having new technology in the classrooms, including iPads, but the district has not had the budget to give teachers training that would allow them to use that technology to the greatest possible extent for students’ education, Murner said.

Classes will be offered to teachers in the coming months, she said.

The Title I Distinguished School award presented earlier this year also comes with funding for three teachers to attend the 2013 National Title I Conference in Nashville, Tenn., from Jan. 20-23.

The 130-student school on the Makah Reservation is one of five state Title I schools — schools with a large population of low-income students — recognized earlier this year by the state for exceptional performance by students or for closing achievement gaps.

Neah Bay received the award for “two or more years of exceptional student performance in mathematics.”

“It has been a huge collaboration over many years between teachers, parents, the community and the students,” Murner said.

Murner cited an 80 percent to 90 percent parent turnout for school events and a school culture that “works hard to make families feel comfortable.”

Another factor is that the school puts students in control of their learning, as students are made aware of the requirements for their grade levels and given the tools and the responsibility to get there, Murner said.

“We really focus on every minute of the day being used to the fullest,” she said.

The school was the only one on the North Olympic Peninsula to receive an award.

There were four in the state: Columbia Ridge Elementary in Ephrata, Lake Forest Park Elementary in Shoreline, Burley-Glenwood Elementary in Port Orchard and Madison Elementary in Olympia.

“These schools are doing great work. Despite challenging circumstances, they are doing whatever it takes to meet the needs of their students,” said Randy Dorn, state superintendent of public instruction.

The Title I, Part A Distinguished School Award program began in 1996 to honor schools for achieving high educational standards.

The program is a joint project of the National
Title I Association and the U.S. Department of Education.

Every year, states select two National Title I, Part A Distinguished Schools — one that exhibits exceptional student performance for two or more consecutive years and one that is closing the achievement gap between student groups.

Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at arwyn.rice@peninsula

Last modified: December 23. 2012 6:17PM
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