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A local school district is among 135 in the state being honored by the Wisconsin Department of Instruction for its work in educating students while serving a high number of economically disadvantaged families.

Cornell School District was the only district in the state to be recognized as both a Title I High Achieving School and a Beating the Odds School. The elementary school was honored with both recognitions, while the middle school was honored with the Beating the Odds distinction.

In an email statement, Superintendent Paul Schley said this is the seventh year in a row the elementary school was given this honor and the second consecutive year the middle school has been honored. The elementary school was also one of 24 schools in the state to get the High Achieving honor, and both schools were two of 87 schools to be honored with Beating the Odds.

Schley credited the Investigation Math series and Good Habits Great Readers program — initiated into the curriculum a few years ago — as helping the school achieve these designations.

It has also positive student and teacher relationships that have helped these schools reach high achievement, Schley said.

“However, when considering high student achievement, teacher relationships with students and teacher expectations of students has a very high correlation to success,” Schley said. “Of course, the students are the ones that really earn these awards by their hard work and desire to learn.”

The Title I awards from the DPI honor schools that receive funding from Title I, which is awarded to schools serving families with economic disadvantages.

High achieving schools have students who have less than three points between student groups, and schools that “beat the odds” are in the top 25 for poverty schools and have above-average student achievement comnpared to schools of similar demographics.

Cornell School District and the other districts honored will be recognized at ceremony at the Wisconsin State Capitol May 21.

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