Sparks Elementary School Wins National Recognition - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Sparks Elementary School Wins National Recognition

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Kate Smith Elementary School in Sparks has been named a National Title I Distinguished School, one of only two schools in Nevada to be so honored this year. This national recognition is based upon exceptional student performance for two or more consecutive years and success in closing the achievement gap between student groups.

"This is a huge honor, and I am so proud that our school has helped bring positive national attention to our District," said Richard Swanberg, principal at Kate Smith. "It is the result of hard work by our students, parents, and staff over the last few years to improve student achievement. Our staff strives to create a safe, caring learning environment where all students can thrive socially and academically, and our work has made a difference for our students. It is wonderful to get this national recognition."

"We are very proud that Kate Smith Elementary School has been named as a National Title I Distinguished School," said Lynn Rauh, Title I director for Washoe County School District. "Richard Swanberg and his staff are very intentional with the planning and delivering of instruction, and they have worked tirelessly to support each and every student in their school. They use resources to support intervention strategies and professional development and to foster family and community engagement."

Originally passed as part of President Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty in 1965, Title I is the largest federally funded pre-college education program in the country and provides funding to school districts nationwide to improve the education of economically disadvantaged students. Title I is dedicated to improving and implementing programs that will help more children reach their academic potential.

Students at nationally recognized schools like Kate Smith Elementary School have shown documented gains in achievement resulting from effective and innovative programs in their classrooms. As part of this recognition, staff members from Kate Smith will travel to the national conference in Nashville early next year where they will take part in professional development programs and learn about other outstanding programs that have proven successful in schools across the country.

The designation of Kate Smith Elementary School as a National Title I Distinguished School resulted from team approaches to teaching and learning, individualized programs for student success, and strong partnerships between the school, parents, and the community.

"Mr. Swanberg and his staff are an extremely dedicated, hard-working, and caring team. We are thrilled that one of our outstanding schools will represent WCSD and the State of Nevada at the national Title I conference," said Rauh.

"We are excited to represent the District and state at the national convention," Swanberg said. "We look forward to hearing from other Title I schools on how we can better meet the needs of our students to further increase academic success."

From the Washoe County School District

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