Two Mobile County elementary schools learned this week that they’ll be receiving a national distinction through the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE).
George Hall and Wilmer elementary schools were among around 100 schools across the country this year to be named a National Title I Distinguished School, which recognizes exceptional student achievement at schools that qualify for Title I funding.
Title I is a federal program that provides funding to local school districts that serve disadvantaged students. It’s also the largest federally funded pre-college education program in the United States.
In 2015, Mobile County Schools received $22,103,965 in Title I funding, and though that number is one of state’s highest, it is on a downward trend.
Those several schools qualify for Title I funding across Alabama, George Hall and Wilmer were the only schools in the state that received the National Title I Distinguished School designation this year. It’s the first time Wilmer has made the cut, but George Hall earned the same destruction back in 2009.
“I’m extremely proud that we’ve received it again, in light of Common Core coming into play and new state tests, that we’re still continuing to provide a quality education for our students,” George Hall principal Melissa Mitchell said.
George Hall has racked up a number of awards since being reconstituted in the early 2000s along with three other Mobile County schools that failed to meet academic performance standards established in the No Child Left Behind Act.In 2014, both George Hall and Wilmer elementary schools were among four Mobile County schools that received a Torchbearer designation, an award that recognizes high-performing public schools in high-poverty areas.
Similarly, the National Title I Distinguished Schools Program has been in place since 1996, showcasing schools that show exceptional student performance for two consecutive years or those that make progress closing the achievement gap between student groups.
Those groups can comprise various demographics based on race, family income and other factors.
“I’m really honored,” Wilmer principal Timothy Dollar said. “We’re a rural community, but we range in 80-something percent free and reduced lunch. Those kids are the ones we have really focused on, so it means our efforts have been rewarded. We’ve still got a lot of work to do, but that gives us an indication that what we’ve been doing is working.”
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.
It looks like you are opening this page from the Facebook App. This article needs to be opened in the browser.
iOS: Tap the three dots in the top right, then tap on "Open in Safari".
Android: Tap the Settings icon (it looks like three horizontal lines), then tap App Settings, then toggle the "Open links externally" setting to On (it should turn from gray to blue).