Thursday, December 1, 2016
Samantha Hart
Press Secretary
(317) 232-0550

The Indiana Department of Education announced the 2016 Title I Distinguished School Award recipients today. Allison Elementary School in School Town of Speedway is Indiana’s 2016 National Title I Distinguished School for Exceptional Student Performance and Gavit Middle/High School in School City of Hammond is Indiana’s 2016 National Title I Distinguished School for Closing the Achievement Gap.

“I am honored to recognize two exceptional schools today for their commitment to providing high-quality support and instruction to Hoosier students,” said Glenda Ritz, Indiana’s Superintendent of Public Instruction. “I applaud the hard work of the dedicated educators, students and families of Allison Elementary and Gavit Middle/High School on this distinguished achievement.”

Since 1996, the National Title I Association has selected examples of superior Title I school programs for national recognition through the National Title I Distinguished Schools program. Selected schools demonstrate a wide array of strengths, including but not limited to team approaches to teaching and learning, focused professional development opportunities for staff, individualized programs for student success, and strong partnerships between the school, parents and the community. National Title I Distinguished Schools demonstrate documented student achievement and progress through innovative approaches to teaching and learning.

As Indiana’s 2016 National Title I Distinguished School for Exceptional Student Performance, Allison Elementary School demonstrates high student achievement through a culture of high expectations. The diverse school supports its students through programs and processes that have remained consistent throughout the past several years. Students receive mental-health support from full-time school counselors and nurses, and teachers are supported with professional development opportunities provided by an instructional coach and district personnel. School leadership ensures that professional development is implemented with fidelity in the classroom. Additionally, paraprofessionals meet at least once a month with the school’s instructional coach to receive support and guidance with intervention programs and student-centered information. School staff celebrate achievements each month throughout the year in order to build relationships and establish a culture of community in the building.

As Indiana’s 2016 National Title I Distinguished School for Closing the Achievement Gap, Gavit Middle/High School has shown high growth alongside student achievement. Gavit utilizes creative approaches to motivate students and promote student engagement. The school’s growth mindset promotes a culture that all children can succeed. A strong collaboration between middle and high school teachers allows for a seamless transition from middle to high school. The school has built a team atmosphere within the building through the sharing of instructional strategies and ongoing collaboration. Gavit also developed a mentoring program between high school and middle school students which has helped to build a powerful and positive culture within the school. The consistent leadership has moved the school forward through the establishment of AP courses offered not only to high school students, but to middle school students as well. At Gavit, every student is encouraged to dream big daily, and established partnerships with families and community organizations help grow successful practices.

Title I Distinguished Schools are selected after thorough review of student achievement data and school accountability performance, as well as student demographic data and an analysis of Title I funding expenditures.

Additional information about Title I Distinguished Schools can be found on the Department’s website.