OLYMPIA — A total of 186 schools, including Naselle Junior Senior High School, are receiving Washington Achievement Awards for 2010. Naselle also won in 2009, which was the award program’s inaugural year.

Award-winning schools were notified Tuesday via e-mail by State Superintendent Randy Dorn and State Board of Education Chair Jeff Vincent. The Washington Achievement Award is sponsored by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and the State Board of Education.

“In many ways, recognizing our best schools is one of the most important things we do at the state level,” said Vincent. “Spotlighting best practices is not only a celebration of our most successful schools, but also provides an opportunity for all of us to learn what those schools are doing right and how we might incorporate those same successful strategies in other schools across the state.”

This is the first year schools are being recognized specifically for improvement and closing achievement gaps.

State Superintendent Dorn praised the addition of the new award categories. “Improvement and equal opportunity for all students is key. My office continues to consider these some of our top priorities.” Dorn went on to say, “We’re seeing some very encouraging signs of improvement, especially at the middle school level, where the number of schools rated as ‘good,’ ‘very good’ or ‘exemplary’ has increased by 15 percent from two years ago. We know that this is an extremely challenging task, and we want schools that are heading in the right direction to be rewarded for their hard work.”

The award-winning schools will be honored during award ceremony on April 27 at Lincoln High School in Tacoma, itself an award winner for Improvement.

The Washington Achievement Award is a recognition program based on the Washington Achievement Index.

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