After being honored as one of the top performing schools in the state, Clement Elementary School received another accolade Monday night.
The school in Autryville is now a 2017 Title I Distinguished School Nominee in North Carolina. According to National Title I program, only two schools per state can be selected for national recognition.
Freda Lee, from the North Carolina Department of Instruction (NCDPI), presented the honor to the school during the November meeting for the Sampson County Board of Education. It was also noted that Lee represents the northeast district for Title I, a program that provides financial assistance to schools with high numbers of of children from low-income families. The purpose is to help children meet academic standards.
Lee said recognizing schools such as Clement is one of the most enjoyable parts of her job. Since the mid-’90s, the program has recognized high performing Title I schools that holds students to high academic standards and demonstrates effectiveness.
In North Carolina, 14 out of more than 1,400 schools met the criteria to compete as a Title I Distinguished School nominee. Each school was asked to submit a portfolio for its nomination.Schools are recognized in one of two national categories. The first is students performing at a high level for a period of three years. Schools in the second category are recognized for high growth, progress and closing the achievement gap between student groups.
Clement was honored for high student performance and was recently recognized in Greensboro during a luncheon for the North Carolina Association of Elementary Educators. However, Lee said she wanted to extend a congratulation again on behalf of NCDPI, to the administration, faculty, staff, parents, students and the Sampson district.
“You cannot receive an award like this unless you have a strong supportive community behind your school,” Lee said. “Each one of the schools that were recognized, one of the things they had to address in their portfolio was their connection to the community. So at this time, I would like to recognize the community that supports Clement Elementary School.”
Kim Schmidlin, vice chair for the Sampson Board of Education, congratulated Clement Elementary and the leadership of Principal James Mullins.
“It shows how hard everyone worked this year to make this happen,” Schmidlin said.
Clement is the first A+ in Sampson County and was one of 87 schools in the state to receive the recognition, which is based on student growth and other accomplishments such as not having major differences between subgroups.
“We can’t underscore the importance of what you guys accomplished this year,” Schmidlin said.
She added that the achievement was made in a rural district facing social and economic factors.
“I just want to extend a huge congratulations to all of you at Clement Elementary School — the administration, the teachers, the parents and the students for a job well done,” Schmidlin said.