Prairie Elementary receives award
The Idaho Education Association May 13  honored a local school at a special awards ceremony held to recognize local educators, parents, and community member for their efforts to strengthen public education. The IEA presented the award during a school visit in Cottonwood.
National Education Association Director Sherri Wood presented an A+ Excellence in Education Award to Prairie Elementary School.  Wood represents IEA members on the NEA Board of Directors.  Janet Richardson accepts the A+ Excellence in Education award.
Wood said the school is among 47 recipients of the IEA’s ninth annual A+ Excellence in Education Awards program.  She said award presentations began today, and will continue through June 4 at schools all over the state.  
During her presentation, Wood compared the Lewis and Clark expedition with education.  “At the beginning of their expeditions, Lewis and Clark had some idea about what they might find, but they were open to all of the possibilities before them,” Wood said.  “They assembled a team and worked together. They were resourceful and observant.  They took lots of notes so they could later tell people back home what they had learned.  They did not always speak the language of the people they met.  And they kept pushing ahead, even when the situation seemed too hard. They were determined to succeed.”
“I think the people in this school have a lot in common with Lewis and Clark,” Wood said.  “You have plans and ideas for every day, but you know there will be surprise or two along the way.  You have a great team of students, teachers, staff, administrators, parents, and other community members.  Educators are definitely resourceful and observant.”
Wood said, “Like Lewis and Clark, you all keep pushing ahead against all of the odds because you are determined to succeed.” 
The IEA awards program began in 1996.  After completing this year’s tour of the state, the IEA will have presented 303 awards to 197 schools or school districts during the nine-year period.
“We honor schools that are constantly seeking ways to help their students,” Wood said.
This year the criteria for selection required the nominator to address this standard:  Our school or school district has improved or in improving student achievement.”  The nomination had to include proof of the improvements.
Each nomination also had to address at least one of these five standards:
· Our school or school district has thoughtfully and deliberately structured and aligned a full and rich curriculum and program of instruction that offer an education for the whole child.”
· Our school or school district has shared understanding and commitment to high goals.”
· Our school or school district engages in open communication and collaborative problem solving.”
· Our school or school district provides for continuous assessment for teaching and learning.”
· Our school or school district encourages and promotes personal and professional learning.”
The schools being honored will each receive a plague.  All of the staff will receive a lapel pen and students will be given ribbons that can double as bookmarks.
Wood said the awards program evolved from the IEA’s publications Visions of Change.  She said the document was created by IEA members over a two-period and offers a view of what public schools and their communities – would look like if the schools were completely student-focused.
This is the second year Prairie Elementary has received this honor.

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522



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503 King St.
P.O. Box 157
Cottonwood, ID 83522-0157
Fax 208-962-7131
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