By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News
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Principal Alice Murner has received a letter from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction announcing the school’s selection for a state 2014 Title I Part A Award.
“It is not often that I have the opportunity to provide a monetary award to our schools for their outstanding efforts in working with our children,” wrote Gayle Pauley, director of the state Title I and consolidated program review.
“I thank you and your entire staff for the great work you have done in supporting your students.”
The award comes with a $600 cash payment that can be used for any purpose the school chooses.
Murner said officials at the Neah Bay school, which mostly serves Makah tribal children, had not yet decided how to use the funds.
The award is given to schools that receive Title I funds — a federal program that supports schools with a high number of low-income students — and that meet federal “adequate yearly progress” (AYP) goals each year.
Neah Bay Elementary is among only 260 public schools in the state — and the only one on the North Olympic Peninsula — to receive a passing grade from the federal government in 2014.
Two others — Brinnon and Queets-Clearwater — are so small they were exempt.
But every other public school on the Peninsula — in the Port Angeles, Sequim, Port Townsend, Chimacum, Cape Flattery, Quillayute Valley and Crescent school districts — must send letters to parents saying they have failed.
The federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 required schools to increase each year the percentage of students meeting grade-level standards on state math and reading exams.
The results are broken down by ethnic group and poverty level, and if one category of students fails to meet its goals, the whole school is considered to have failed.
This spring, that increase reached its peak, with 100 percent passage in all grade levels required, or the school was considered failing.
The Title I Part A Award is one of a long string of awards that Neah Bay Elementary has received in the past few years.
In December 2013, the school was named a National Distinguished Title I school.
Also in 2013, it was named a School of Distinction and received two 2012 Washington Achievement Awards.
It made the Center for Educational Effectiveness’ list of the top 5 percent of schools for student progress in the past five years.
The school also was named a 2013 Golden Apple Award Pathways to Excellence winner by KCTS-9, a Public Broadcasting Service affiliate in Seattle.
Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at email@example.com.