DOBSON — Dobson Elementary School was recently recognized by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and June St. Clair Atkinson, state superintendent, as a Title I Reward School for 2012-2013.
The honor indicates the school is one of the top-performing Title I schools in the state. According to information from the Surry County Board of Education, the students at Dobson Elementary have achieved high academic performance for three consecutive years. Dobson is the only school in the Surry County, Mount Airy or Elkin school districts to receive this honor. Additionally, only 117 individual schools across the state were named reward schools.
“Attaining this recognition is no small accomplishment on the school’s part. The faculty and staff at Dobson Elementary have exhibited excellence by helping students achieve high academic performance,” said Atkinson.
North Carolina recently received approval from the United States Department of Education to implement a differentiated system of recognition, accountability and support for schools. A reward school is a Title I school that, based on the most recent data available, is a highest-performing school. Rewards schools are selected if the poverty rate is at or above 50 percent and the schools made annual yearly progress (AYP) in all subgroups.
Board of education information points out this means students, regardless of income or race, are making progress. The purpose of the program is to close achievement gaps so that all students are given an equal opportunity to be successful. Two other categories of schools are Focus and Priority Schools. A focus school is a Title I school contributing to the achievement gap in the state, and a priority school has been identified among the lowest performing schools in the state.
Jan Varney, principal at Dobson Elementary School, said that the achievement is definitely a team effort with every teacher and assistant in the building working hard to help each child learn. She added that the school’s mission is to help every child be a successful reader who can use those skills in all other subject areas. Varney indicated the school has a very successful First Steps Program which is an early reading intervention program as well as many other intervention programs and strategies to help children master the material.
Varney added that she is thrilled that the school is being recognized for the tremendous amount of hard work, planning and teaching that goes on daily at the school. She said the staff has created an atmosphere of caring and learning that brings results.
“I am very proud of Dobson Elementary for being selected as a Title I Reward School for high performance in all academic areas. The ability of the administrators, teachers and assistants to meet the educational needs of all the students is truly amazing and contributes greatly to continuous excellence in student achievement,” commented Director of Federal Programs for Surry County Schools Brenda Whitaker.