ABOVE: Students and staff at Ettrick Elementary gathered for a surprise assembly Dec. 14. Ettrick Elementary School recently was named a “distinguished school” in... Ettrick Elementary earns ‘distinguished school’ status for reducing ‘achievement gaps’

ABOVE: Students and staff at Ettrick Elementary gathered for a surprise assembly Dec. 14.

Ettrick Elementary School recently was named a “distinguished school” in accord with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
Ettrick was one of up to 100 schools throughout the country that were recognized for outstanding student achievement in 2018.

Ettrick Elementary, fully accredited by the Virginia Department of Education for the past two school years, is being recognized for reducing “achievement gaps” between student groups.

Examples of increased academic performance from 2014-2018 include: black students’ English academic achievement increased 25 percentage points; economically disadvantaged students’ English academic achievement increased 23 percentage points; students with disabilities’ English academic achievement increased 19 percentage points; and students with disabilities’ math academic achievement increased 14 percentage points.

Ettrick Elementary’s Tier 1 literacy instruction encompasses a balanced model of daily shared reading, guided reading, word study and writing instruction. Ettrick’s math instruction in kindergarten through fifth grade begins each day with Sherry Parrish’s “number talks.” Number talks are used to improve students’ mental computation and assist with communicating their thought process for solving problems through justifying their thinking. The school also has provided all third- through fifth-grade students with Chromebooks to increase “anytime, anywhere” learning opportunities and to provide students with additional instructional content.

“Being recognized as a national Title I distinguished school is a great honor,” Superintendent Merv Daugherty said. “The successes at Ettrick Elementary during the last two years demonstrate that a differentiated approach to resource allocation works.”

“This national recognition reaffirms the great work being done at Ettrick Elementary,” Matoaca District School Board member Rob Thompson said. “The staff has shown tremendous dedication to the students at Ettrick, and has helped foster an environment where all students can learn through hands-on learning opportunities that are engaging and relevant.”