From an Everett Public Schools news release.
Students at North Middle School and Silver Lake Elementary School have shown outstanding math and reading improvement for five consecutive years.
When schools show consistent improvement trends over a long period, that student achievement trend catches the attention of groups looking for exceptional educational practices. It also earns those schools the title School of Distinction.
“Improving scores one or two years in a row is an accomplishment,” notes Superintendent Gary Cohn. “Holding and achieving that continuous improvement standard for five years is very difficult. Such a sustained improvement track record means the students, their families, the staff and the school system are in sync with quality instruction, high expectations and high support.”
The achievements of North and Silver Lake place them in the top five percent of all schools in the state of Washington based upon math and reading improvements. Only 99 state schools earned the title School of Distinction; 55 are elementary schools; 24 are middle schools, and 23 are high schools.
The Center for Educational Effectiveness (CEE) is the organization that tracks state school achievement trends and is among those groups that give the School of Distinction awards.
CEE President Greg Lobdell described the vast difference among the state’s award-winning schools, “These schools are from all regions of the state, all sizes of towns, and with two percent to 100 percent poverty. Enrollment in these award-winning schools of English Language Learners is as high as 49 percent. These schools demonstrate that significant improvement is occurring all across our state’s diverse public schools.”
North and Silver Lake have similar demographics. Six out of ten students at North qualify for free or reduced lunch; at Silver Lake the number is five out of ten.
“Students living in poverty can have more life challenges that interfere with school and learning,” explains Dr. Joyce Stewart, the district’s associate superintendent of teaching and learning. “North and Silver Lake staff have developed ways to circumvent the challenges of poverty and support students and families in ways that makes learning and school success possible.”
While this is the first such award for North Middle School, Silver Lake Elementary School and other schools in the district have earned these and other state awards since 2005 when the recognition began. Although the names of the awards have changed, the emphasis and recognition of sustained improvement has remained a common thread over the seven years of the award program.
Everett Public Schools award-winning schools 2005-2013 (Over time, the names of some awards have changed. Information about each award is available on website of Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.)