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Benton Elementary School recognized for achievments
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BENTON—The Benton Elementary School is one of 169 public schools throughout Wisconsin recognized for academic achievements in poverty districts.

The 169 public schools all have two things in common: high levels of poverty and remarkable successes in educating their students.

“Congratulations to these schools. They are examples of the academic success we need in all of our schools to close achievement gaps,” said State Superintendent Tony Evers. “Theseawards recognize the work of students and theirparents along with teachers, school administratorsand school staff members to break the linkbetween poverty and low academic achievement.Their efforts will help us ensure that every studentgraduates college and career ready.”

The Wisconsin Title I School of Recognition awards highlight schools that have demonstrated success in educating students from low-income families. To be eligible, schools must receive federal Title I funding to provide services to large numbers or high percentages of economically disadvantaged children and meet other achievement criteria.

This year’s awards recognize nine High-Achieving schools and 26 High-Progress schools; 11 schools earned both High-Achieving and High-Progress honors. There were 117 Beating-the-Odds schools. One school — Marengo Valley School in the Ashland School District — has earned a School of Recognition award for all 13 years of the program.

Benton’s 4k-sixth grade elementary school was named to the High-Achieving and High-Progress category for 2015-16.

“I was pretty excited about it,” Luedtke said. “It has to do with our achievement gaps between our sub-groups, like free and reduced lunch or minority groups and the rest of our population, as well as reading and math scores.”

Luedtke said there are 426 public school districts in the state, but all of the districts are made up of at least two schools; some are many more if they have several elementary buildings or a separate junior high.

Schools meeting criteria in one or more of the three recognition areas will receive a plaque at a March 14 ceremony at the State Capitol. During the awards ceremony, 12 schools will receive flags for earning the Wisconsin Title I School of Recognition award for five consecutive years. This year’s 169 Wisconsin Title I School of Recognition Award recipients are from 109 school districts and two non-district chartering authorities.

Other schools receiving awards in southwest Wisconsin are Lone Rock Elementary School of the River Valley School district in Spring Green for high-progress and beating-the-odds; Seneca Elementary School of the Seneca School District for high-progress and beating-the-odds; River Ridge Middle and High School of River Ridge School District in Patch Grove for high-progress; Highland Community Elementary School in the Highland School District for high-progress; Seneca High School of the Seneca School District for high-progress; Jefferson Elementary School of the Richland School District in Richland Center for beating-the-odds; Seneca Junior High School of the Seneca School District for beating-the-odds; Wauzeka Elementary School in the Wauzeka-Steuben School District for beating-the-odds; and Weston High School in the Weston School District in Cazenovia for beating-the-odds.


Wisconsin Title I School of Recognition Criteria
All schools receive federal Title I aid because they have significant numbers of students from low-income families. They also meet the state’s test-participation, attendance, and dropout goals as well as additional award criteria:
High-Achieving Schools
• meet all Annual Measurable Objectives for achievement and graduation
• have achievement gaps that are less than 3 points between student groups or show evidence of reducing gaps
• demonstrate high achievement at theschool level
High-Progress Schools
• fall within the top 10 percent ofs chools experiencing growth in reading and mathematics for elementary and middle school students or the top 10 percent of schools with the greatest improvement in high school graduation rates
• have achievement gaps that are less than 3 points between student groups or show evidence of reducing gaps
Beating-the-Odds Schools
• are in the top 25 percent of high-poverty schools in the state
• have above-average student achievement in reading and mathematics when compared to schools from similarly sized districts, schools, grade configurations, and poverty levels