The National Title I Association has honored a pair of Clark County School District (CCSD) schools as National Title I Distinguished Schools. Walter Bracken STEAM Academy and Gordon McCaw STEAM Academy are among 61 schools throughout the United States to receive national recognition for exceptional student achievement in 2017.
A project of the National Title I Association, the National Title I Distinguished Schools Program publicly recognizes schools for their positive educational advances in one of three categories:
Category 1: Exceptional student performance for two consecutive years
Category 2: Closing the achievement gap between student groups
Category 3: Excellence in serving special populations of students (e.g. homelessness, migrant, English language learners, etc.)
Bracken STEAM Academy was recognized in Category 3 and McCaw STEAM Academy was honored in Category 1. It was the second year in a row that Bracken STEAM Academy received this honor, and these two schools were the only National Title I Distinguished Schools in Nevada to be recognized for their achievements in 2017. The selected schools will be officially recognized in February as part of the National Title I Association convention in Philadelphia.
McCaw STEAM Academy Principal Jennifer Furman-Born was thrilled with the national recognition. “We are honored and excited to have received this honor. It is a result of the hard work and dedication of our staff and teachers who are committed to our students setting individualized goals. Our families and community take pride in our school’s academics and help guide students into becoming positive and productive citizens.”
Similar sentiments were expressed by Katie Decker, who serves as principal of Bracken STEAM Academy, Howard Hollingsworth Elementary School and Walter V. Long Elementary School. “The staff, parents, and community partners (of Bracken STEAM Academy) were all extremely honored to get this recognition last year.” Decker added, “Receiving this again is a huge honor, and we are excited to share this with our community.”
Chief Student Achievement Officer Dr. Mike Barton offered praise to the two schools. “Their innovations have resulted in gains in student achievement. Their success is a testament to the hard work and determination of our educators working in collaboration with their school communities.”
McCaw STEAM Academy teacher Kelli Akes said, “I am excited and thankful for this National Title I recognition. This is truly an accomplishment for the entire community to celebrate.” Bracken STEAM Academy teacher Vicky Zblewski noted, “It is an honor to have our efforts recognized again. We teach a diverse population and strive to help each student find success.”
The National Title I Association has been selecting examples of outstanding Title I school programs for national recognition through its National Title I Distinguished Schools program since 1996. According to the association, “These schools demonstrate a wide array of strengths, including team approaches to teaching and learning, focused professional development opportunities for staff, individualized programs for student success and strong partnerships between the school, parents and the community.”