For the second year in a row, Sultan Elementary has been named a School of Distinction.
That means that the school is among the five percent of schools K-12 to receive the recognitions, which is given based on student success in reading in math over the most recent five years.
School supporters name a strong community spirit and high levels of volunteerism in the 500-student elementary as factors in the school’s ongoing success.
Under the leadership of principal Laurel Anderson, the school has focused energy into three areas: tying curriculum to state standards, using scientifically-researched methods of instruction based not the University of Washington’s five-dimension teaching framework, and creating a student-centered environment.
Anderson defers credit to the teachers at the school, who she said have remained open to considering new teaching methods and who work together to share successes. Teachers work in grade-level teams, and design lessons custom-tailored to the prior learning experiences of current students.
Students who have fallen behind get small group time with teacher guidance to help them catch up.
And as of last year, kids in grades 2-5 can study math at home using an internet-based program called DreamBox.
Sultan School District superintendent Dan Chaplik said that the success of the school is a reflection on the efforts of the entire team.
“It’s a commitment to the systems that are in place and a commitment to learning,” he said. “It’s fascinating to watch and I’m proud to be part of it.”
He also points to the school’s use of data to assess how it is doing throughout the year.
Sultan Elementary is one of nine schools in Snohomish County to win the recognition.