ESEA Distinguished Schools Award Winners Announced

Teacher and students in a classroom.

OLYMPIA — Across the state, schools have worked hard to improve student learning and close achievement gaps. The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is proud to honor that work by announcing the winners of the 2021–2022 Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Distinguished Schools Award.

The ESEA Distinguished Schools award recognizes schools in one of three categories. The categories are:

  • Category 1: Exceptional student performance for two or more consecutive years
  • Category 2: Closing the achievement gap between student groups for two or more consecutive years
  • Category 3: Excellence in serving special populations of students (e.g. homeless, migrant, English learners, etc.)

Awarded schools demonstrate a wide array of strengths including team approaches to teaching and learning, focused professional development opportunities for staff, individualized programs for student success, and strong partnerships between the school, parents, and the community. What makes National ESEA Distinguished Schools’ stories especially powerful are the documented student achievement gains that have resulted from their collaborative and targeted efforts and innovations.

“Our classroom teachers and instructional support staff provide a language-rich learning environment, as well as a socially-emotionally safe and academically engaging classroom environment, for all of our students each day,” said Jim Bruce, Principal at Jefferson Elementary School in Pullman, which was named a National Distinguished School for 2021–22 for excellence in serving special populations of students.

Eligibility for the award is based on several factors including:

  • Closing educational achievement and opportunity gaps.
  • Positive academic achievement growth over multiple years in English Language Arts and Mathematics as measured by standardized assessments.
  • English Learner Program.
  • School student enrollment.
  • Poverty percentage of schools above 45 percent.

National ESEA Distinguished Schools will receive recognition at the National ESEA Conference, a plaque, a banner, and $30,000 for use toward professional development, team building, or other program development activities.

State ESEA Distinguished Schools will receive a plaque and $15,000 each for the same purposes.

2021–2022 Recipients

National Distinguished Schools

Jefferson Elementary
Pullman School District, Pullman, Washington
Jim Bruce, Principal
Excellence in serving special populations of students (e.g., homeless, migrant, English learners, etc.)

Hilton Elementary
Zillah School District, Zillah, Washington
Ryne Phillips, Principal
Closing the achievement gap between student groups for two or more consecutive years.

State Distinguished Schools

Rainier View Elementary
Seattle Public Schools, Seattle, Washington
Anitra Jones, Principal
Excellence in serving special populations of students (e.g., homeless, migrant, English learners, etc.)

Glenridge Elementary
Kent School District, Kent, Washington
Scott Abernathy, Principal
Excellence in serving special populations of students (e.g., homeless, migrant, English learners, etc.)

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Except where otherwise noted, content by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. All logos and trademarks are property of their respective owners.

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The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

Led by Supt. Chris Reykdal, OSPI is the primary agency charged with overseeing K–12 education in Washington state.

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