ATWATER — Mitchell Elementary School has received the Title I Academic Achievement Award, the only school in Merced County so honored this year.
Only 56 California schools out of 6,000 eligible earned the award conferred by the state Department of Education. Mitchell representatives will receive it at a ceremony at the end of the month in Tulare.
Brian Meisenheimer, Mitchell principal, said the school was honored for its efforts to close achievement gaps among subgroups at the school. Mitchell has 550 students between kindergarten and sixth grade, and receives federal Title I funding.
"I am really excited for the school to have that recognition," Meisenheimer said. "It's really good for Mitchell. The kids have gone to the next level, and I'm proud of the work the staff put in."
Melinda Hennes, Atwater Elementary School District superintendent, said that with their teachers' support, students have taken responsibility to master grade level standards by routinely monitoring their own progress throughout the year.
"They know what they are responsible to learn," Hennes said. "That personal commitment makes all the difference in the world. The district is very proud of the great work accomplished by the staff and students at Mitchell Elementary School."
Michele McCabe, assistant superintendent for educational services, said it's nice to see the hard work and dedication of school staff members pay off. She said it's a serious challenge to close the achievement gap among different student groups.
Mitchell has 21 teachers, Meisenheimer said. He's in his fifth year as the school's principal. He said the school's test scores have risen every year, and he is proud of the progress the school has made.
Reporter Doane Yawger can be reached at (209) 385-2407 or firstname.lastname@example.org.