Louisiana school one of five across the U.S. vying for prestigious honor and $50,000 grand prize
The National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET) announced today that rural Slaughter Elementary School in East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana, will receive $10,000 as a finalist for the NIET Founder's Award. The school is among five across the country under consideration for the $50,000 grand prize, which will be announced later in 2020.
"Slaughter Elementary School has demonstrated significant achievement growth in just three years of working with NIET," NIET Chairman and Founder Lowell Milken said. "Principal Kimberly Glascock and her faculty have retained teachers, promoted a growth mindset, and closed achievement gaps."
NIET has a 20-year history of working alongside more than 8,500 schools, districts, states, and universities to ensure that all students have effective educators. NIET's partner schools have shown success by both outperforming similar schools and having greater teacher retention. The Founder's Award was created by NIET Chairman and Founder Lowell Milken to honor one school annually for exceptional implementation of NIET's principles to build educator excellence and advance student success.
"Slaughter Elementary School shows what is possible when educators are the difference-makers and empowered as professionals," said NIET CEO Dr. Candice McQueen. "Slaughter Elementary exemplifies how to create an environment where teachers and students both thrive."
Founder's Award recipients are selected by NIET based on their efforts to make instructional excellence the cornerstone of school improvement; plan for regular professional learning focused on daily needs of teachers and students; create a culture of collaboration and reflection; and leverage teacher leaders and administrators to drive student growth. Since Slaughter Elementary School started implementing NIET's TAP System for Teacher and Student Advancement in the 2017-18 school year, it has distinguished itself as a district of choice for educators. Teacher retention has increased by 22 percentage points, from 56% in 2017-18 to 78% in 2018-19, due to the quality of support afforded on campus.
What Sets Slaughter Elementary Apart
Slaughter Elementary is one of five schools in East Feliciana Public Schools and serves a student population of whom over 30% are minority and 61% are economically disadvantaged. Teachers at Slaughter Elementary know at the outset that they will be supported by a leadership team that is able to tailor support so they will be successful. Principal Glascock shared that some first-year teachers chose Slaughter Elementary because they knew that support was in place. "NIET has allowed a small rural school district to have access to resources that create highly effective teachers," she said.
Through TAP and NIET's support structures, students are making gains. Between 2018 and 2019, third grade students increased their ELA index score by 29 points, from 65.4 to 94.5. Within the same time frame, fourth grade students moved their ELA index up by over 23 points, from 65.4 to 88.6. What's more, students with disabilities improved their index by 10.7 points, and economically disadvantaged students increased their index by 5 points.
Overall, Slaughter Elementary received a "B" letter grade from the state in 2018 and 2019, increasing its school performance score from 76.3 to 81.3. During the same time, the school earned an "A" for student progress.
"Students began taking ownership of their learning and individual growth and displayed confidence in their mastery of grade-level standards and daily objectives," Principal Glascock said. "Several parents even noticed improvements in their child's mathematical thinking and confidence. Slaughter Elementary Master Teacher Jennifer Thornton was paid the biggest compliment when a parent said, 'My child likes doing math again.'"
Slaughter Elementary School joins fellow finalists Chinle Elementary School (Chinle Unified School District, Arizona); Desert View Elementary School (Gadsden Elementary School District #32, Arizona); Duplessis Primary School (Ascension Public Schools, Louisiana); and Slaton High School (Slaton Independent School District, Texas).
For graphs and images of Slaughter Elementary School, visit the NIET newsroom. For interviews, please contact Jana Rausch at email@example.com or (310) 435-9259. For more information, visit www.niet.org. Follow conference news – including the Founder's Award – on Facebook and Twitter @NIETteach or via #NIET2020.