York elementary school named 'Distinguished School'

Jane Hammond
Contact Reporterejhammond@dailypress.com
Bethel Manor Elementary School earns National Title I Distinguished School honor.

York County's Bethel Manor Elementary School has been selected as a 2015-16 National Title I Distinguished School.

The recognition, which is named by the National Association of State Title I Directors, designates Bethel Manor as one of two Virginia schools and one of 100 nationwide that made academic achievements in either federal benchmarks or narrowing achievement gaps of students.

Bethel Manor closed gaps in reading and mathematics for over two consecutive years, while also increasing the achievement of all student subgroups, according to a release from the Virginia Department of Education.

Principal Mike Lombardo, in his second year at the school, said the work teachers did in weekly meetings to create assessments and analyze data helped them better instruct their students.

"(Those were) true action steps on the part of the teachers that put the students in a position to reach high achievement levels," Lombardo said. "We are just so proud of the students, the staff and really the parents and the entire community. It really took great efforts on the part of the teachers, students and parents to hit these high marks."

Snow Creek Elementary in Franklin County is Virginia's other 2015-16 National Title I Distinguished School, chosen for exceeding federal benchmarks for increasing achievement in reading and mathematics.

Both schools have earned full accreditation for at least two consecutive years.

"We are excited for the staff, students and parents of Bethel Manor Elementary School," said York County School Division Superintendent Victor Shandor. "To be one of two schools in Virginia recognized with this national award is a true testament to their hard work. Under the leadership of (Lombardo), BMES teachers and staff implemented strategies to support the success of every student. I am proud of their accomplishments in narrowing achievement gaps among student groups."

Title I provides federal funding for schools to raise achievement levels of students who are identified as being at risk of academic failure.

Hammond can be reached by phone at 757-247-4951.

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