Eleven Seattle schools are among the winners of the 2014 School of
Distinction award, which recognizes schools with the highest sustained
improvements in reading and math over the previous five years.
The award recognizes schools in the top 5 percent of improvement for
their levels. Some have won multiple times, including Mercer
International Middle School, which won the award for the sixth
consecutive year – more times than any other school in the state. Others
received the award for the first time.
Pathfinder K-8 is among the first-time winners, a feat that Pathfinder
principal David Dockendorf attributed to its focus on math achievement.
Thanks to the Families and Education Levy, passed by Seattle voters in
2011, Pathfinder was able to apply for a “linkage” grant, designed to
help schools boost student achievement. “We really couldn’t have done
this without the linkage grant we got,” Dockendorf said.
Pathfinder chose to focus on improving math achievement. The school
invested in a half-time math specialist and has used data to continually
adjust and improve their math instruction to best meet their students’
needs. "It took three years, but our math achievement showed dramatic
gains this year," Dockendorf said.
This is the eighth year of the School of Distinction award, which is
awarded by the Center for Educational Effectiveness in partnership with
the Association of Educational Service Districts, the Association of
Washington School Principals, Washington Association of School
Administrators, Washington State School Directors’ Association and the
Washington State Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Across the state, 101 schools received the award this year.
The Seattle Public Schools winners will be among those recognized on
Nov. 5 at an awards ceremony at the Puget Sound Educational Service
Seattle 2014 School of Distinction winners
Catharine Blaine K-8 School*
Cleveland High School*
Franklin High School
Greenwood Elementary School*
Hamilton International Middle School*
Ingraham High School
Maple Elementary School
McDonald International Elementary School
Mercer International Middle School*
Pathfinder K-8 School
Wing Luke Elementary School*
*denotes schools that have won in previous years