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News Release - Two Schools Named 2013 Colorado Title I Distinguished Schools of the Year

Oct. 18, 2013

The Colorado Department of Education announced today the selection of Nisley Elementary School in Mesa County Valley School District 51 and Swink Elementary School in Swink School District as Colorado’s 2013 Title I Distinguished Schools of the Year.

The award recognizes two schools out of the more than 600 Title I Schools in the state —one that has achieved academic success and one that made progress in closing achievement gaps associated with race and poverty.  To be eligible for the award, schools must have:  a minority population of at least 30 percent; a free/reduced population of at least 40 percent; and student enrollment of at least 200.

Swink Elementary was selected for the exceptional student performance award.  In 2013, 92 percent of students scored Proficient or Advanced on the 2013 Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP) reading, putting Swink Elementary among the top 15 percent of elementary schools statewide.  

“It’s always so rewarding to be able to identify and reward the Title I schools in our state that are achieving at such a high level and closing gaps, despite the risk factors these schools face,” said Trish Boland, director of Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Programs for CDE. “They can serve as models to other schools in Colorado.”

Nisley Elementary School was selected as a distinguished school for their work in closing the achievement gap.  With nearly 80 percent of students eligible for free/reduced cost lunch in 2013, Nisley went on to demonstrate increased performance in both reading and math TCAP.  In 2013, 66 percent of Nisley students were proficient or advanced on TCAP reading and 62 percent proficient and advanced on TCAP math.  

Both schools will be honored at ceremonies held at their schools.  Nisley Elementary will be honored at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 22, at 543 28 ¾ Road in Grand Junction. Swink Elementary will be honored at 9 a.m. on Nov. 25 at 610 Columbia Ave., in Swink. 

The Title I Distinguished School Program is a joint project of the U.S. Department of Education and the National Association of State Title I Directors.  The distinguished schools will be recognized at the National Title I Conference in San Diego, CA in February.

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