9 Snohomish County schools honored by state

EVERETT — Nine schools in Snohomish County have earned spots on the sixth annual list of state Schools of Distinction. The award is given for outstanding improvement in student achievement.

The local schools are Arlington High School, Spruce Elementary in the Edmonds School District, Silver Lake Elementary and Eisenhower Middle School in Everett, Granite Falls High School, North Lake Middle School in Lake Stevens, Glacier Peak High School in the Snohomish district, Stanwood Elementary School and Sultan Elementary.

Statewide, 97 schools were honored as Schools of Distinction. Based on reading and math test scores during a five-year period, the schools were chosen by several state education groups, including the Washington principals, administrators and educational service district associations and the Center for Educational Effectiveness. The center offers consulting and research work that helps schools improve student achievement.

The Schools of Distinction represent the top 5 percent of improving schools in the state, said Center for Educational Effectiveness officials. Some of the schools honored have a high rate of poverty and low English comprehension among their families.

The Northwest Educational Service District plans to host an award ceremony Jan. 9 for the nine schools in Snohomish County, along with three schools in Skagit County and one in Whatcom County. The service district also includes Island and San Juan counties.

“The success and hard work of these highest improving schools across our state needs to be celebrated,” said Jerry Jenkins of the Northwest Educational Service District.

Of the schools receiving awards in Snohomish County, Arlington High, Silver Lake Elementary, Eisenhower Middle, North Lake Middle and Sultan Elementary have been honored before.

North Lake Middle School has been on the list four times.

“We are very pleased with many things at North Lake,” said Lake Stevens School District spokeswoman Arlene Hulten. “The focus there is on academics with not a minute to waste.”

Principal Brad Abels also said an energetic and engaged staff, positive students and a supportive community help make improvements possible.

Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; gfiege@heraldnet.com.

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