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Truman Elementary Wins National Title One Award; All Kids Gain with Cardinal Class

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WEBB CITY, MISSOURI -

     Harry S. Truman elementary in Webb City is one of only two Missouri schools to win a national award.
     The Title One Distinguished School Award supports schools that help kids who are economically disadvantaged  reach their potential.
    Truman's approach is paying off in closing the achievement gap.
Jill Short discussed  parts of a book with a small group of 4th graders. The title one instructional coach says it
s exciting the program at Harry S. Truman is getting national recognition.
Short said, "It really validates everything we've been working on for a few years here."
The title one  staff increased its Response to Intervention program or RTI. Short said, "We look more at our  data, deeper into our data, determine what kids need and we include the whole building. It
s not just our low scoring kids." 

Kids of all ability levels are in the free and reduced lunch program so  the extra attention is for everyone. For one uninterrupted  hour each day called Cardinal Class everyone in a grade switches locations into small groups. For some, its enrichment like coding robots.  For others,  its extra attention on reading and math.

Principal Jodi Bennett said the benefit is the realization that they can learn. She said, "That small group instruction helps them feel successful  working at their level which then allows them the confidence to build and grow. So, I think  all kids can be successful, some it might take a little bit longer."
The improvement shows up in state MAP testing. The school had exceptional performance two  consecutive years. And last year not one 4th grader scored below basic in English language arts or math.   4th grader Addie moved from below basic as a second grader to now proficient being  in Cardinal Class
Addie explained, "My spelling has improved when I read and it helps spell the words better and making stories." Addie feels both more confident and comfortable reading in class.

Besides lots of data checking, there are special intervention teams and while its extra work for teachers they said there
s a big pay off in the end.

Short said, "When you can see these kiddos making these gains  and their confidence building its definitely worth it. Thats why we're in education is to help these kiddos. Just to seem them shine,  gosh,  it makes it all worth it."

Short and Bennett said classroom teachers giving up an hour of teaching and building the rest of their schedule around Cardinal Class make the program work. 

    Mrs. Short and other school officials will be in Philadelphia on Friday, February 9th  to receive the award.

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