Two Alaska schools, including one on the peninsula, were nationally recognized this week.
Evergreen Elementary School in Juneau and Tustumena Elementary School in Kasilof were recognized by the National Elementary and Secondary Education Act Distinguished Schools Program. Previously known as the National Title I Schools Program, the program publicly recognizes schools for positive educational services. Every year, two schools are chosen to represent each state.
Tustumena Elementary School was recognized for exceptional student performance for two or more consecutive years, a Dec. 9 press release from the state Department of Education and Early Development said.
Tustumena Elementary School has always been the heart of the community where locals come together for community building activities, the release said.
“Tustumena Elementary School provides the best education possible where students learn in a positive atmosphere,” the state’s release said. “Data driven decision making has been an important part of the overall school planning. Increased student success is a result of the positive relationships between teachers and parents at Tustumena Elementary School.”
Alaska identifies eligible schools for the award based on their students’ performance on the Performance Evaluation for Alaska’s Schools assessment in English language arts and mathematics.
Identified schools chose to apply for the honor. Schools provided evidence on their effectiveness in evidence-based instructional strategies, how they provided opportunities for all children to achieve, how they coordinated Title I with other programs, their professional development of staff, and partnerships with parents, families, and communities.
“It is an honor to recognize these two outstanding schools in our state,” Alaska Department of Education and Early Development Commissioner Michael Johnson said. “Both Tustumena Elementary and Evergreen Elementary have demonstrated effective strategies to ensure student success. I am proud to congratulate the educators, students, and families of these communities on the recognition of their hard work and dedication to Alaska’s students.”