Two Delavan-Darien schools recognized for ‘beating the odds’

WisconsinDPIDELAVAN — The Wisconsin Department of Instruction recognized two Delavan-Darien School District schools for demonstrating improved school learning climates.

For the second time in two years, Phoenix Middle School received a Wisconsin Title I School of Recognition Award and was named as a “beating the odds” school. Also receiving the award and recognition as a “beating the odds” school was Darien Elementary School.

“I am proud of the hard work of the staff, students and parents at both schools to ensure that all children are able to achieve at this level,” said Superintendent Robert Crist. “These awards show that the dedication of everyone involved does not go unnoticed and is justifiably rewarded.”

The two schools were among 173 state schools named award-winners by the DPI, which recognizes success in educating students from low-income families. Schools qualify on the basis of being high achieving, high progress and/or beating the odds.

SEE THE DPI NEWS RELEASE

“I love the start of the school year because it’s a chance to set the pace for a successful year ahead,” said State Superintendent Tony Evers as he announced the 173 Wisconsin Title I School of Recognition awards in a news release. “These schools are off to a strong start to the 2014-15 school year.”

As a “beating the odds” school, Phoenix Middle School and Darien Elementary School have:

  • Had above-average student achievement in reading and math when compared to similar-sized schools from like-sized districts with similar grade configurations and poverty levels;
  • Met the state’s test-participation, attendance and dropout goals;
  • Been placed in one of the top three accountability index categories of “meeting expectations,” “exceeding expectations” or “significantly exceeding expectations” on school report cards.

Phoenix and Darien, the only “beating the odds” schools in Walworth County, also qualified for the award because the schools are in the top 25 percent of Wisconsin schools for the percentage of students receiving federal free and reduced-priced school meals.

“I want to congratulate these schools as examples of the success we need in all of our schools to close achievement gaps,” Evers said in a news release. “These awards recognize
the work by students and their parents along with teachers, school administrators, and school staff members to break the link between poverty and low academic achievement. We know that rigorous programming and attention to student needs make a difference and will help us reach our Agenda 2017 goals: to improve graduation rates, reduce dropout rates, and close college and career readiness gaps.”

All award-winning schools receive federal Title I funding to provide services to high numbers or high percentages of economically disadvantaged children.

Schools meeting the recognition award criteria will receive a plaque at an Oct. 13 ceremony at the State Capitol and $500 for use by the school.

This year’s 173 Wisconsin Title I School of Recognition Award recipients include 133 elementary schools, 29 middle or junior high schools, and 11 high schools.

Phoenix and Darien teachers are also eligible to compete for the Wisconsin Title I Schools of Recognition Teacher Fellowship Program, which funds professional development opportunities.

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