The Idaho State Department of Education has selected four schools for national recognition for helping at-risk and low-income students succeed, the department announced Wednesday.

Nezperce School, a K-12 school in Nezperce, and Vallivue’s Birch Elementary School will be recognized as Idaho’s Distinguished Schools at the National ESEA conference in April. Both schools are Title I schools that enroll about 40 percent low-income students.

In the past three years, Nezperce has outperformed 80 percent of Idaho’s schools on standardized tests the news release said. Birch is recognized for raising the mathematics performance of economically disadvantaged students by 12 percentage points.

The SDE nominated Fairview Elementary in Idaho Falls and Beutler Middle School in Dayton for National Blue Ribbon Awards. Both schools have at least 40 percent low-income students and perform in the top 15 percent of schools on state assessments.

Fairview is nominated as an exemplary high performing school. More than 70 percent of its students are proficient in both English language arts and mathematics.

Beutler is nominated for closing achievement gaps. The school has improved the scores of low-income students by more than 20 percentage points in English language arts and 10 percentage points in math over the past three years, according to state data.

“These four schools provide outstanding service to their communities, districts and, most of all, their students,” Superintendent Sherri Ybarra said in the news release. “They are outstanding examples of Idaho educators’ dedication and achievement, helping their students succeed regardless of background, economic status or prior performance levels.”

Originally posted on on December 18, 2019

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