Thurgood Marshall MS named School of Distinction

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Thurgood Marshall MS named School of Distinction
Thurgood Marshall MS students work on food burning in science class

Thurgood Marshall Middle School joins an elite group of only 20 middle/junior high schools statewide that have been named a School of Distinction for being among the top 5 percent of highest improving schools.


The award recognizes the Olympia middle school for sustained improvement over five years in English language arts (ELA) and math.


“The students and staff at Thurgood Marshall Middle School have embraced a growth mindset, and we all have high expectations for each other and for ourselves,” said Thurgood Marshall Middle School Principal Condee Wood.


Wood continued, “We have become a true learning community where we focus on educating the whole child, and we are dedicated to providing the absolute best experiences that we possibly can for our students! We are humbled to receive this award, and I am extraordinarily proud of the accomplishments of the students and staff at Thurgood Marshall.”


In all, 98 schools representing elementary, middle/junior and high school received a 2017 School of Distinction honor this year from the Center for Educational Effectiveness (CEE).


The organization examined the sustained improvement of English Language Arts and math scores at the elementary and middle school levels, and 4- and 5-year graduation rates at the high school level.


“What's really neat about this award is it is not about how many students reach a certain arbitrary standard. Rather, it's about each student's individual growth. The Thurgood Marshall staff takes all students where they are and builds skills and understanding from there, and that is what education is all about,” said Superintendent Patrick Murphy.


Marshal MS students work on  portable computers in English Language Arts classThe School of Distinction awards were created in 2007 to recognize the highest improving schools in Washington state.


CEE awarded the honor in partnership with five other agencies: The Association of Educational Service Districts, Association Washington School Principals, Washington Association of School Administrators, Washington State School Directors’ Association, and Washington State Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development.


“These high improving schools demonstrate that in all areas of the state, from rural to urban, highly diverse, or economically challenged, there are schools serving the whole child and preparing them to be ready for college, work and career opportunities,” said John Welch, president of the Association of Educational Service Districts and superintendent of the Puget Sound Educational Service District.


Welch continued, “This award process highlights our schools’ achievements and the need to continue to support the dedicated and talented professionals who serve our students and their families. Congratulations to the students, professional educators and leaders for their exceptional dedication and effort. Well done!”


Thurgood Marshall Middle School will be recognized at the December 11 Olympia School Board meeting, as well as at a regional celebration. Each 2017 School of Distinction award winner receives a banner and certificate to display in the school building.