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Crestwood Elementary, becomes 8th Chesterfield County Title I School to receive national distinction
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Crestwood Elementary, becomes 8th Chesterfield County Title I School to receive national distinction

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Crestwood Elementary, a Title I school in Chesterfield County, was named a National ESEA Distinguished School during a surprise outdoor assembly Tuesday afternoon.

Upon hearing the news Tuesday afternoon, all Crestwood students began to dance to the “Turkey Tango” in celebration.

Only two schools per state receive the annual distinction from the National Association of ESEA State Program Administrators.

To qualify for the award, schools must meet three pieces of criteria for two or more consecutive years: meet full state accreditation, have a poverty rate of at least 35% and demonstrate exceptional academic achievement, according to a Chesterfield Schools news release.

According to the Virginia Department of Education’s School Quality Profiles, 51.1% of Crestwood students were economically disadvantaged last fall.

Schools are then recognized in one of three categories: exceptional student performance for two consecutive years, closing the achievement gap between student groups and excellence in serving special populations of students.

Crestwood was recognized in the third category for the school’s work with its English Language Learning students.

“Crestwood Elementary exemplifies what we mean when we say ‘all means all.’ Public education is for all students, and teachers throughout our school system work hard to make sure every student succeeds,” Chesterfield Schools Superintendent Merv Daugherty said in a statement.

ESEA, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act passed during President Lyndon B. Johnson’s “War on Poverty,” was created at the time to close educational gaps between children from low-income households, who attended urban or rural schools, and children from middle-class households who attended suburban schools.

The concept of Title I, a federal program that provides funding to schools with high populations of economically disadvantaged students, was established under the act.

“I’m so proud that you’re finally getting the acknowledgment that you deserve,” School Board member Kathryn Haines said during Tuesday’s assembly. “Since 2012, I know that the school has been working to redesign approaches to planning staff development and instruction as part of the detailed state improvement plans.

“So now you are a fully accredited Title I school that surpasses state benchmark and all subgroups, that’s like getting an A on your report card in every single subject,” Haines added.

Crestwood is the eighth Chesterfield school to be named a National ESEA Distinguished School. Previous elementary schools that won from 2002 and 2018 are: Bensley, Chalkley, Harrowgate, Beulah, Bellwood, Elizabeth Scott and Ettrick.

“Teaching and learning are not easy, but they are vital to our community, and we celebrate Crestwood’s commitment and success,” Daugherty said.

jnocera@timesdispatch.com

Twitter: @jessmnocera

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