Saturday, January 19, 2013
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Roanoke Valley, New River Valley schools honored for closing skills gap

Of the nine "highly distinguished" schools in the state, three are in Roanoke County.

Schools in the Roanoke and New River valleys, including five in Roanoke County, are being recognized by the state for raising the achievement of economically disadvantaged students.

According to a news release from the Virginia Department of Education, the state school board is honoring 46 schools and one school division for their work.

"The progress we make in narrowing and ultimately closing achievement gaps depends in large measure on the efforts of teachers, principals and other educators in the commonwealth's Title I schools," board of education President David Foster said in a statement. "The educators in the schools we are honoring today are leading the way."

Title I schools have large populations of low-income students and receive federal funding in an attempt to bolster their achievement.

Nine schools are being recognized as Title I Highly Distinguished schools, including Clearbrook Elementary, Green Valley Elementary and Oak Grove Elementary schools in Roanoke County.

To earn the award, schools must exceed all state and federal accountability benchmarks, as well as earn average scores on the English and math Standards of Learning that are at or above the 85th percentile.

Another 37 schools were named Title I Distinguished schools. Those schools also met all state and federal accountability requirements, as well as earning average reading and math SOL scores that are at or above the 60th percentile.

Among those schools recognized are Glen Cove Elementary and Masons Cove Elementary in Roanoke County; Callaway Elementary, Glade Hill Elementary and Lee M. Waid Elementary in Franklin County; Breckinridge Elementary in Botetourt County; Rich Acres Elementary in Henry County; Narrows Elementary/Middle in Giles County; Auburn Elementary in Montgomery County; and East Salem Elementary in Salem.

The awards are based on assessments during the 2011-12 and 2010-11 school years.

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