Tupelo elementary school gets coveted national honor

Pierce Street Elementary named to list of "National Distinguished Schools"

TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) – A Tupelo elementary school wins a national honor for its educational programs and student achievement in the classroom.

“It’s a team effort, it’s not a one-man show,” said Pierce Street Elementary Principal Amy Tate.  She is quick to point to her staff as one reason the school was named one of one hundred National Distinguished Schools in the United States.

That award is given by the National Association of ESEA State Program Administrators.  ESEA or the Elementary and Secondary Education Act was passed by Congress to close the skill gap in reading, writing, and math between children from low-income schools, and those in suburban school systems.

Pierce Street was chosen for its track record serving special populations of students, such as homeless, and English language learner students.

“When I found out we received the award in the category of special populations, we are actually the only school in the state of Mississippi to ever receive that award, speaking to special populations, it’s confirmation of what we know happens at Pierce Street every day, which is we make best decisions for all students,” Principal Tate said.

Principal Tate and a team of teachers will head to New Orleans next month for an awards ceremony.

But don’t expect staff to sit back and relax just because they’ve achieved the big honor.  They want to build on their momentum.

“We have a phenomenal group of teachers here at Pierce Street, we all work collaboratively, on a daily basis.  Our motto is ‘every child can learn’ and we are going to keep adding on to where we are now,” said Anna Fleming, a special education teacher at Pierce Street Elementary.

The principal also credited partnerships with area churches and nonprofits as another key to Pierce Street’s success.

ESEA dollars have helped the school hire academic interventionists and have also helped provide after-school and summer programs for youngsters.



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