More Than $2 Million Presented To 20 U.S. Schools At The Intel/Scholastic Twenty-First Century Schools Of Distinction Awards
Georgia and Texas High Schools Named 'Best of the Best'
NEW ORLEANS, June 22, 2004 - At an awards ceremony last evening, 20 schools were named as Intel/Scholastic Twenty-First Century Schools of Distinction Award winners. The winners were chosen from more than 1,200 applicants around the country. Two schools -- Houston County High School in Warner Robins, Ga., and MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas -- were named the "Best of the Best" based on comprehensive programs exhibiting excellence in the use of technology, involvement of parents and community, professional development, teamwork and high academic standards. The two top schools will each receive a $25,000 grant from the Intel Foundation.
In addition, 18 schools were named as winners in individual categories (see below). Each of those schools will receive $10,000 from the Intel Foundation, bringing the total foundation grant to $230,000. The 20 winning schools will also each receive curriculum materials, professional development resources, software and hardware valued at more than $120,000 bringing total cash and prizes to $2.3 million. Corporate donors are eInstruction, Futurekids, Microsoft, NEC, Primedia, Pitsco, Riverdeep, Scantron, Scholastic Inc., SchoolNet and SMART Technologies.
"The winners of the Twenty-First Century Schools of Distinction awards exemplify what is right with education in the United States," said Intel CEO Craig Barrett. "Education can be transformed when a community of involved administrators, teachers and parents come together to achieve a common goal. "By sponsoring these awards, we hope to share the outstanding programs and efforts these schools have put in place with other schools around the country. We have to learn from each other in order to transform our classrooms and our schools."
About the Schools of Distinction Awards
This national award program, created by Intel Corporation, Scholastic Inc., and the Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence Foundation, recognizes the finest K-12 schools in the United States. The judging process was led by the Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence Foundation staff. Winners were selected based on their implementation of innovative and replicable programs that support positive educational outcomes. Best practices from award-winning schools will be made available at www.blueribbonschools.com.
The Winning Schools
Set in the midst of a farming community, Houston County High School demonstrates its motto "Futuristic goals and old-fashioned values," daily. Students at the school farm learn old-fashioned animal husbandry and traditional dairy and pig production, yet they also take tech-infused classes on embryo transfer and do research into protein loading for maximum growth. The school is a showcase for innovative thinking, exemplified by the ground breaking 9th Grade Academy. The Academy helps students transition to high school by designing a curriculum that teaches decision making skills, time management and study skills. Faculty and students strive for excellence, resulting in strong performance on the Georgia High School State Graduation Tests; juniors scored in the 96th percentile this year, 5 percent above the district and state average.
MacArthur High School, a large suburban school where nearly 40 percent of students receive free or subsidized lunch, is the second of this year's "Best of the Best" winners. At MacArthur, each student has a school-issued laptop and access to a co-op curriculum, which includes work study and advanced placement programs, as well as concurrent enrollment at a nearby college. Work gets done using innovative processes, including thinking maps, cooperative learning, teamwork and leadership programs, project-based learning, experimental lab activities, and interactive student presentations. The school has created an impressive student-centered community that extends far beyond the walls of the school. For instance, science students participate in virtual dissections, video conferencing and ongoing dialogue with medical researchers. For the past four years, the school has achieved the state's highest academic rating.
"It is important to recognize the achievements of our schools and to share these stories with the rest of the nation," said Bernadette Grey, Editor-in-Chief of Scholastic Administrator and an award judge. "The Intel/Scholastic Schools of Distinction Awards are uncovering great new ideas for creating partnerships, working with parents, and a host of other significant innovations that can lead to a better school experience and, ultimately, to academic gains for our children."
Bart Teal, executive director of the Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence Foundation, said: "We are honored to recognize these schools. It is especially satisfying to discover that schools facing challenging demographics are rising to meet their diverse needs by incorporating innovative techniques to overcome obstacles in educating all children. It is evident that incorporating technology into teaching and learning practices is an excellent way to help level the playing field."
A Complete List of Winners by State
School Category California Abraham Lincoln High School, San Jose Community Involvement Cornerstone at Pedregal Elementary School,
Rancho Palos Verdes
Involved Parents/Teachers Sherman Oaks Community Charter School,
Professional Development Whitney High School, Cerritos Academic Excellence Florida Kendale Elementary School, Miami Teamwork Georgia Houston County High School, Warner Robins Best of the Best Kansas Edith Scheuerman Elementary School, Garden City Partnership Kentucky Summit Elementary School, Ashland Involved Parents/Teachers Massachusetts Arthur A. Coolidge Middle School, Reading Teamwork New York KIPP Academy Charter School, Bronx Academic Excellence Townsend Harris High School, Flushing Community Involvement Ohio Beachwood Middle School, Beachwood Technology Excellence New Albany High School, New Albany Partnership Oaklahoma Deer Creek Prairie Valley Elementary School, Edmond Professional Development South Carolina Irmo Elementary School, Irmo Technology Implementation Tennessee Greeneville Middle School, Greeneville Technology Excellence Texas Bishop Dunne Catholic School, Dallas Innovative Use of Technology MacArthur High School, Irving Best of the Best Walnut Hill Elementary School, Dallas Technology Implementation Washington Talbot Hill Elementary School, Renton Innovative Use of Technology
The Schools of Distinction program is part of the Intel® Innovation in Education initiative, a sustained commitment - in collaboration with educators and government leaders worldwide - to help prepare students to succeed in a knowledge-based economy. Intel is focused on helping to integrate technology effectively into the education process and to helping improve science, mathematics, engineering and technology education. For more information, visit www.intel.com/education.