Lohn School takes nationwide award

Lohn Independent School District was recently selected as one of five Texas schools nominated by the Texas Commissioner of Education for the 2000/2001 National Title 1 Distinguished School’s Award. Every year the commissioner has the opportunity to nominate five Texas schools to receive the National Title 1 Distinguished School’s Award from the National Association of State Title 1 Directors in partnership with the U.S. Department of Education. The National Title 1 recognition program is designed to identify high poverty Title 1 schools that are worthy of recognition for their progress toward providing all students opportunities to achieve the state’s academic standards of excellence. To be eligible for a nomination in 2000/2001, schools were required to be a Title 1 Distinguished School in 1999/2000; have 50 percent or more of the students meet low income criteria; have below the state’s average exemption of 6.9 percent for admission, review and dismissal and 2.2 percent for limited English proficiency based on 1999 TAAS standards; have a current accountability rating of exemplary in 2000 and have not received the award in the previous three year. Lohn ISD serves 107 students in Pre-kindergarten through 12th grade classes which are all housed on one campus. Sixty percent of the students are transfers from adjoining districts and 40 percent of those students accepted as transfers are served in special education programs. In spite of the challenges that these demographics present, Lohn School has been rated exemplary in four of the last five years. The Lohn School staff and community are committed to high standards of excellence for every student. Such high expectations are reflected in the school’s motto, “Teaching Every Child, Every Day.” “We feel that we are fortunate in the fact that we are a small school and that we’re able to address the needs of all levels of student ability,” said Lohn Principal Dickye Moore. “We know that we must spend time with those who are having difficulty or perhaps behind in their work, but we also spend a lot of time with those that are ahead. “One of the major reasons our transfer students choose Lohn ISD is because they are behind and are having difficulty in larger classes. We feel like this type of student can do well in our smaller classrooms. We always try these students in our regular classrooms and we give them an opportunity to succeed. If they still cannot succeed, we look at their program individually and distinguish what other activities will be best for them,” said Moore. The resource room that LISD has for its special programs is equipped with extensive technology, software and visual aids as well as a special education teacher and an assistant. “Our Title 1 funds are generally used for salaries for some of our teacher aides. The most significant is the person that runs the accelerated reading lab. We keep that lab open, of course, all during the school year and the students are able to test to see if they have accomplished what they need to in reading the books. But we also use that aide in our summer program,” Moore continued. “We have 20 days of summer school every year that is open to any of the students who would like to attend and we have our accelerated reading program during that particular time. “We also keep the lab open one day per month during the summer and it’s funded by Title 1,” Moore said. “In addition, we have an elementary aide that is funded by Title 1 and she works with many of the students during the day to assist them with their program. “We feel that we work the same way every day. We work hard and we’re very aware of the problems that we have, and we’re aware of the limitations that we have. But we also feel that if we attack each problem that we have every day, we’ll be successful in dealing with those problems. No, it won’t be perfect, but we feel that we’ll make headway in all of the objectives that we have with all of the students,” Moore concluded.

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